Unprecedented times call for unprecedented step counts. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baw Baw Shire residents have been pounding the pavement in force, using Council’s walking tracks and pathways at the highest rate ever recorded.
While community sport was sidelined and gyms, fitness centres and leisure facilities were closed during various stages of the pandemic, it was recommended that people take up regular walking or running to maintain their physical and mental health.
Based on Council’s usage records collected during the year, it’s clear that the community was one step ahead.
Taking in the Baw Baw scenery and getting some fresh air turned out to be the best way to get a break from the home office, classroom or gym for much of the community, with usage records being broken repeatedly since March, and over 148,000 uses captured on the recorded pathways from July to the end of September.
This recorded quarterly figure shows an increase of 88,000 uses when compared to the average figure for the same period in each of the previous three financial years. The new figures also trump the record set during April to June 2020 of 129,423.
Council has data loggers located at various points along the following walkways and trails throughout the Shire:
- The Two-Towns Trail, between Warragul and Drouin.
- The Linear Trail, Warragul.
- Between Queen Street, Warragul and Nilma.
- The Neerim South Wetlands.
- The Rokeby-Crossover Rail Trail.
- The Uralla Nature Reserve in Trafalgar.
This data is reported on quarterly and can be found in Council’s Annual Report.
As stated by Director Community Infrastructure Cohen Van Der Velde:
“It’s fantastic to see that our community has been able to adapt and respond to the challenges the pandemic has thrown at us all by keeping active and putting one foot in front of the other.
These record numbers highlight the importance of quality infrastructure and it’s benefit to the community.”