Genesee County Parks want you to play in the snow - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County Parks want you to play in the snow

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(01/03/14) - The weather the past few days has been a little chilly, but it could be a great time to get outside and enjoy some winter sports. Genesee County Parks is participating in a statewide program to encourage people to play in the snow.

Don't let cold temperatures scare you away. Start the first weekend of the year with fresh air and exercise. Organizers of the event call it Shoe Year's Day.

"It encourages local parks to partner with health organizations to put on events that talk about healthy new year resolutions and get people outdoors and active. We want them here in our Genesee County Parks," said Nicole Ferguson of the For-Mar Nature Preserve.

Participants at the free event can roam throughout For-Mar's 383 unspoiled acres and seven miles of trails.

"We will have a limited supply of snow shoes available. We'll be teaching people how to snow shoe, so that's a great opportunity for people to learn a new activity and hobby," Ferguson said.

"When it comes to snowshoeing, you can be a beginner or a novice that can get out. You can be someone who's a fit person, go out and snow shoe, run in the winter time as well. If you have balance problems, you have poles. It's a great sport that's able to be adapted to any skill level," said Brian Van Patten, For-Mar horticulturist and snowshoe enthusiast.

The amount of snow on the ground shouldn't slow you down.

"You can use them in four inches of snow if you'd like, but where they're truly effective is where you start to have 12, 14 or 16 inches of snow," VanPatten said.

Saturday's forecast calls for snow showers and a high near 30.

"It's a great time to get outdoors and be active," Ferguson said. 

For more information on Shoe Year's Day, click here.

The second annual Shoe Year's Day is at For-Mar Nature Preserve, 2142 N. Genesee Road, Burton, Saturday, Jan. 4. There is hiking at 1 p.m., snowshoeing at 1:30 p.m., cross-country skiing at 2 p.m. and a 5Krun at 2:30 p.m.

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