Donation helps STEP’s RiverWalk Center kick off pathways to healthy aging project

STEP’s RiverWalk Center in South Williamsport soon will be helping older adults utilize its namesake, the Susquehanna RiverWalk, even more. The trailhead is adjacent to the center’s parking lot, and already, customers are meeting during the week for the Walk with Ease program on the trail. Now, thanks to a donation from community cycling advocates, David and Louisa Stone, they will be able to explore the River Walk trail on wheels — specifically, on three wheels.

The Stones, who currently operate Williamsport Bicycle Recycle, have donated two new adult tricycles for use by RiverWalk Center for Healthy Aging participants. With their step-through frames and stable design, the tricycles allow riders, who may be hesitant about hopping on a bike or who have mobility limitations, to experience the benefits of a bike with greater ease and confidence.

The tricycle donation will compliment the Pathways to Healthy Aging Project, a three-pronged program which builds upon STEP’s partnership with South Williamsport to develop recreational assets geared toward older adults in the South Williamsport Borough park complex. The project components include three pathways to healthy aging: Walking, bicycling and fitness. It will kick off this spring.

The Walking Pathway component includes Walk with Ease Program and the purchase of stability walking poles. The Bicycling Pathway component includes the purchase of bicycles (single and tandem), bicycle safety equipment and the development of a bicycle map to link the three centrally located centers for healthy aging in Lycoming County. The Fitness Pathway component includes the purchase and installation of seven ADA-accessible LifeTrail fitness stations, specifically geared towards older adults, in the South Williamsport Park Complex adjacent to the RiverWalk Center and the Susquehanna Riverwalk Trail.

Through the 2015 Community Needs Assessment and recent surveys, older adults expressed their desire to have more opportunities to be active and stay healthy; this project does just that.