Bellevue tackles ‘nature deficit disorder’ with snowshoe adventures

In order to connect people with the outdoors, the town of Bellevue is offering snowshoe adventures as part of its weekly Tuesday Trails program this winter.

“Snowshoeing is one of those great activities where beginners can learn it quickly,” said Carrie Sabochik, Outdoor Recreation Coordinator at the City of Bellevue Parks and Community Services. “It’s like walking around with really big feet.”

Residents meet every Tuesday January 9 through February 13 at the North Bellevue Community Center to cram into a pickup truck before heading to Interstate 90 to Snoqualmie Pass. The program is intended for residents aged 50 and over. Family programs will be offered in February.

“They tend to fill up quite quickly,” Sabochik said.

The city provides snowshoes. Residents are requested to bring warm outdoor clothing, a snack, lunch and water, as well as any eye and skin protection that may be required. It costs $ 15 per person. The group meets at 10 a.m. at the community center and returns at 3 p.m. There is a limit of 12 people per group.

“A lot of the women said they really like going in groups because they don’t feel comfortable going alone,” Sabochik said. “We have people who just retired in their 50s, up to 80 years old. ”

The city sticks to fairly flat trails. Usually there will be a few feet of snow on the trials.

“It’s not often that we break fresh snow,” said Sabochik. “It’s a great way to be outside and enjoy nature in winter.”

She said the hike is generally about 2 miles.

One of the perks of snowshoeing on a Tuesday afternoon is that the trail is quite empty.

“It’s pretty cool; you don’t have to share the trail with a lot of other people, ”Sabochik said.

To participate, residents must first register with the city by contacting Sabochik at [email protected] or 425-452-6883.

All trips are weather dependent.

The Tuesday Trails program is part of the TRACKS initiative to promote outdoor adventure, youth leadership and environmental stewardship, according to the city’s webpage.

Sabochik said TRACKS started in 2007 as a way to combat nature deficit disorder, a phrase author Richar Louv coined in his 2005 book “Last Child in the Woods”. The phrase describes modern man’s isolation from nature and argues that this alienation makes humans more susceptible to behavioral problems.

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