Walks in the 'hood are gaining traction

It looked like it might rain when about 35 people took part in the first weekly walk in the Heights last weekend but by the time they were finished, the skies had cleared.

It was the first week of the nine-week Healthy in the Heights initiative set up by Rainy Kent, a City of Burnaby employee.

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"I thought it was great," Kent said. "Thirty-five people is such a huge success."

Burnaby residents gathered at the Eileen Dailly recreation centre at 9: 30 a.m. to walk together and get to know their neighbours and their neighbourhood a little better.

The group walked along Hastings Street to Gilmore Avenue, and then back to Eileen Dailly. The two-kilometre walk is set to increase over time to 4.5 kilometres, according to Kent.

Kent, who grew up in the Heights and still lives in the area, is involved in many events in the neighbourhood, including Sun Run clinics. She is also the event organizer for the annual Giro di Burnaby.

The walk was led by Sun Run in-training leaders Beth Connelly and Liz McEwan.

The group plans to meet every Saturday morning at 9: 30 a.m. at the front door of the Eileen Dailly recreation centre.

Participation is free, and the walks will take place rain or shine, according to Kent.

Local businesses such as the Burnaby Heights Physiotherapy Clinic, chiropractor Ann Izard, podiatrist Dr. David Brooks, G&F Financial Group and Capitol Hill Massage Therapy Clinic are sponsoring the initiative.

The concept has led G&F Financial to start its own healthy lifestyle seminars in the Heights, as well.

Kent hopes the group will increase in size, and that the neighbourhood walks might eventually become self-sustaining, with people gathering weekly with their neighbours, she said.

"I'd like to see it double next week," she said.

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