From Our Team
Posted on April 19, 2021 by Jana Renner
Spring has sprung here in the Borderland. What better way to enjoy some sunshine than getting out and walking, biking or hiking some of the beautiful trails that the region has to offer?
Celebrate Trails Day celebrates all the incredible health and mental wellness benefits that trails provide which include recreation, education, exposure to flora and fauna, wildlife and preservation. The Paso del Norte Trail will host Celebrate Trails Day on April 24 at 9 a.m. at the Playa Drain Trail to encourage the community to discover some of the benefits that the trail has to offer and to thank the many volunteers, local partners, developers, city and county employees and others for their help in developing and maintaining the trails. Some of the events will include a trail clean-up and a yoga/meditation session.
The Playa Drain Trail is a 3.4-mile trail that connects Ascarate Park and Riverside Park.
“The Playa Drain Trail is a model for what we would like the entire Paso del Norte Trail to be,” says Trail Ambassador Miguel Fraga.
The trail was opened in 2018. It was developed with funding from the Paso del Norte Health Foundation in collaboration with the City of El Paso and El Paso Water. It is one of the completed segments of the larger 68-mile planned Paso del Norte Trail that will extend across El Paso County. The trail also includes more than 50 amenities including benches, exercise equipment, a stormwater management system, two burrowing owl habitats, two bat houses and solar lighting. The western trailhead is located near the entrance to Ascarate Park.
“The Playa Drain Trail is a place where people can go to be active and also learn the benefits of integrating natural features as a way to improve our way of living,” said Fraga. “We hold volunteer events to build a community around the trail and raise awareness about some of the amenities like edible landscaping – the pomegranates and figs which people can eat while hiking. We also focus on bike amenities like maintenance stations people can use for free and pet amenities such as the pet-friendly water stations.” The Paso del Norte Trail is a community-driven, collaborative effort to develop a county-wide trail in El Paso County that promotes active transportation, preserves the history and culture of our region, highlights our connection to the Rio Grande, supports economic development and ecotourism, provides educational and volunteer opportunities, and makes healthy living an easy choice for everyone in our community.
The Paso del Norte Trail and Paso del Norte Health Foundation was recently recognized by Texan by Nature, a conservation nonprofit, with the Conservation Wrangler Award. The award was given to six innovative conservation projects across the state of Texas for their science-based and results-driven approach to conservation along with their ability to positively impact people, prosperity, and natural resources.
The planned Paso del Norte Trail will provide greater opportunities for increased physical activity for residents and visitors alike. The Health Foundation and its partners are working to secure funding to complete more segments of the trail.
There are a lot of things to be hopeful about in 2021. So, let’s start by getting out and getting active starting at the Playa Drain Trail for Celebrate Trails Day.
For trail updates, information about the Paso del Norte Trail, upcoming events and how to join the Friends of the Trail program, visit https://www.pasodelnortetrail.org/.
PDNHF Initiative: Physical Activity
Foundation Staff: Jana Renner
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