Hudson Valley Unveils New Nature Trails and Paved Perimeter Path; Hosts Earth Day Community Celebration

April 23, 2024

Trail markers on campus

Developed to improve mental health, encourage fitness and wellness, and increase time outdoors, Hudson Valley Community College has established three new walking trails at the north end of campus for student, employee and community use.

The project was made possible by a SUNY grant to support mental health and wellness activities on campus. Construction Technology students, faculty and staff all pitched in to build small bridges and signage. The Student Senate and volunteers from various student clubs assisted with clearing the trails and cleaning up debris.

The nature trails consist of the McDonough Trail (936 ft. or .178 miles), the Upper LaPan Trail (1,586 ft. or .3 miles) and the Lower LaPan Trail (419 ft. or .08 miles). Trailheads are located north of the McDonough Sports Complex, Joseph L. Bruno Stadium and LaPan Services buildings.

Being outdoors and in nature has been shown to boost mood and improve mental health. Spending quality time in the great outdoors reduces stress, calms anxiety and can lead to a lower risk of depression, according to a study done by researchers at Stanford University.

Students, employees and members of the community also are welcome to enjoy the college’s new paved running and walking path around the perimeter of the main campus. The perimeter pathway was developed during the summer months and offers another safe option for engaging in exercise and outdoor activities on campus.

“The new nature trails and our perimeter walking pathway are excellent additions to Hudson Valley’s campus and a wonderful resource not only for us here at the college, but for members of the community as well,” said President Ramsammy. “The college is constantly making improvements and investing in new ways to make the campus more exciting, engaging and accessible. Health and wellness initiatives are very important to our students and staff, and this is a great opportunity to get outside and be active throughout the day to improve personal wellness.”

To celebrate Earth Day and showcase the new campus resources, the college held its inaugural Earth Day Community Celebration on Monday, April 22. Students, faculty and staff enjoyed a free community luncheon at the Student Pavilion and volunteers helped spruce up the new trails and campus ahead of our year-end ceremonies. College offices and employees decorated birdhouses for the trail area. The Student Senate sponsored an Earth Day mural painting project as well.

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