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Passport to Healthy Living Program Taking Off

Springfield-Greene County Parks Board

The Passport to Healthy Living program, which started Tuesday, May 26, has already had some takers.

Diane Hall, Associate State Director of Community Outreach for AARP Missouri and one of the creators of the project, said she had seen a family already working on answering questions in their passports earlier this week.

“They had done about six or eight clues,” Hall said. “They were having a big time. Knock on wood, but it seems people are enjoying it.”

The program, Hall said, is like a scavenger hunt with 26 questions encouraging people get out around the city and discover resources to be healthy. She also said the questions themselves are not hard.

“But, if you get out and you go to the park or go the library, it’s really easy to figure out the clue, but you actually have to do a little walking or do a little brain studying,” Hall said.

Hall said Springfield natives may be able to answer some of the questions without having to get out. But she says there should be some questions that will require exploration.

Hall listed the library system, parks and Ozarks Greenways trails as resources for mental and physical health. AARP collaborated with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and County Library District to create the program, which ends Aug. 8.

Participants can fill out at least half of their passports and turn them in at the same place they picked them up. Participants will receive a small gift from AARP and be entered into a drawing for larger prizes.

“It’s an awesome opportunity for you to do it with your kids or grandkids,” Hall said. “If the kids are old enough some of them could do it on their own. You could do it in any group or non-group that you wanted to, and hopefully it will work for everybody.”

Hall said prizes will be distributed by age categories, which are listed on the passport, in order to be fair.

“We didn’t want a 7-year-old competing against a 30-something,” Hall said.

Prize winners will be announced Saturday, Aug. 22 at the Passport to Healthy Living ice skating party at Mediacom Ice Park.

Hall said she hopes the program will be successful and be repeated in the coming years.

You can find the passports at any Springfield-Greene County Library in the city, any of the Park Board’s family centers, at Mediacom Ice Park, at the Botanical Center and at WIC.

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