Checking off a youthful bucket list

JULIA KOSKI, Woodland Hills, Calif. enjoys the monkey bars at Green Lake’s Playground Park, one of the Green Lake County summer park challenge stops. Her dad, Charlie, watches. Tim Lyke photo

by Ariana Hones

Summer days of sun-soaked skin and catching fireflies late into the evening only to wake up to many an itching mosquito bite.

These days somehow manage to feel incredibly long in the moment until suddenly August is here and school is about to start.

This summer, the Green Lake County Health Unit wants to make sure there aren’t too many regrets of missed chances outdoors before kids head back to the classroom.

Enter the Green Lake County Park Tour 2018.

A chance for young people in Green Lake County to get out in the many parks for a summer bucket list challenge.

The hope for the Green Lake County Health Unit?

For young people “to get outside, explore the county, be in green space, breathe fresh air, move their bodies, enjoy time with friends and family, make new friends, complete a bucket list and earn a certificate of completion.”

Any park in the county that has playground equipment counts in this bucket list challenge.

Families may print out the official bucket list of parks from Green Lake Health Unit website or go to locations around the area such as the Chamber of Commerce to pick up a paper copy.

In order to complete the challenge and earn a certificate, participants need to visit any 15 county or city parks. They can visit areas such as nature trails and beaches.

“Once you make your list, tape it to your fridge and go to a park,” said Julia McCarroll, a health educator for the Green Lake County Health Unit.

The hope of the health unit is for families to make it a goal to visit each park on their list at least once this summer.

“We want families to get outside and explore all the great outdoor spaces this area has to offer,” McCarroll said. “We wanted a way to motivate young ones and families to get outside.”

To get a certificate of completion for the challenge, mail the completed bucket list to the Green Lake County Health Department.

For those up for more of challenge, McCarroll suggested giving themselves a secondary goal such as 30 park visits by the end of summer.

From Mound Street Park in Berlin to Highknocker Park in Green Lake to Hein Park in Markesan, Green Lake County is in no shortage of outdoor spaces for the entire family.

The Green Lake County Park Tour is a time to invite friends to the park, make new ones and share the great outdoors of summer.

With many long summer days ahead, the only thing that the young people of Green Lake County need to do is challenge themselves to play each day away.