Fun run/walk is 'Motivated by Nature' - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Fun run/walk is 'Motivated by Nature'

Nature center

Marshall Cowell and Alexa Warwick and their daughter, Freya, were among those participating in the Nature Fun Run/Walk June 5 at the Harris Nature Center in Okemos.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

The 2024 Motivated by Nature Fun Run/Walk took place at Harris Nature Center last Wednesday, June 5. That date was also Global Running Day, so, it was both a fundraiser and a lively celebration.

The Harris Nature Center, located at 3998 Van Atta Road in Okemos, is a nature preserve in Meridian Township. It is both a recreational space and educational facility, built to protect and preserve the Red Cedar River.

The director of the center, Kati Adams, kicked things off. She thanked every person and partner for their attendance and support.

officialsEvent Coordinator Alyssa Ball and Matt Lydon of Playmakers were among the officials at the run/walk at the Harris Nature Center on June 5.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Following the director, Alexa Warwick said a few words of welcome. Warwick is not only the president of the Harris Nature Center Foundation, but she is also an assistant professor at Michigan State University in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department.

“The Harris Nature Center is owned and operated by the Meridian Township,” Warwick explained, “but we are the nonprofit organization that supports special projects at the Harris Nature Center.”

She added this was the first ever Motivated by Nature Fun Run/Walk ever. She also explained exactly which exhibits and renovations would be paid for with donations, highlighting the positive impacts of each.

LCC Lead Tutor Marshall Cowell attended the event and walked the 2.25-mile trail with his family, but he said he was there as a conservationist.

“I’m here to support the natural areas,” he said, “and to help keep them in a pristine condition.”

trail walkThe Harris Nature Center has a very scenic trail for walkers and runners.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Another attendee, Sue Borough, said she just came for the scenery but was surprised by just how breathtaking the old-growth forest really is.

“I saw it online,” Borough said. “I just thought it sounded like a great place to walk. I am not running like some of these folks, I am just looking around. I didn’t realize it was so hilly and beautiful in here.”

Harris Nature Center partnered with local shoe store, “Playmakers.” There was a tent with free, rentable HOKA shoes for anyone in need. There was also emergency medical staff present, just in case.

Firefighter and Paramedic Emma Brown said she and her partners were prepared for anything.

“We are ALS,” Brown said, “which means advanced life support, which means we can do everything from getting a little girl a Band-Aid to treating you if you had a heart attack.”

There were refreshments and a live performance by local artist Jessey Adams under a pavilion near the mouth of the trail. Everyone laughed, rested for a bit and listened to some live music as a community.

Every environmentalist knows there will always be more to do, but the message was, together, we can at least slow climate change down and protect what we have left.

“No one is right or wrong,” Warwick said. “We just have to work through everyone’s different perspectives.”



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