This page was developed and is maintained by the PATHS (People Active on Trails for Health and Sustainability) Team through the University of Connecticut. We are an interdisciplinary team of University of Connecticut extension educators, faculty, and staff committed to understanding and promoting the benefits of trails and natural resources for health, community & economic development and implementing a social ecological approach to health education. Our team works in a wide variety of departments and disciplines including public health, health education, nutrition, community development, and landscape architecture.
CT Trails Program Vision:
A state-wide network of trails and open space connecting residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds to Connecticut’s outdoors through transportation, education, and healthy active living opportunities.
- PATHS is an interdisciplinary team of educators and outreach professionals that connect communities in Connecticut to their environment through active living.
- PATHS provides tools and resources to those who need them most to achieve equitable communities and a sustainable landscape, building healthy places to live? while protecting the environment.
- The team is informed by research and through community engagement to understand and respond to environmental concerns, opportunities and barriers to outdoor physical activity and recreation, and community health risks.
Path’s Team Values:
- works on-the-ground, in and with communities
- listens and responds directly to community needs
- Is informed by research to understand and respond to environmental concerns, opportunities and
- barriers to recreation, and community health risks and disparities
- Seeks external grants aiding interdisciplinary research and broader impacts
- Builds partnerships with communities and the leaders who serve them
- Creates equitable access for all to the outdoors
Outdoor Education Program Pilot The goal of the PATHS (People Active on Trails for Health and Sustainability) Outdoor Education Program Pilot is to increase use of parks and multi-use (bicycle pedestrian) trails by low-income families in Connecticut and enhance the outcomes of the collaborative PATHS team that includes Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and community development programs.
PATHS pop-up outdoor recreation days – The PATHS pop-up outdoor recreation day events will involve the development of “pop up” play spaces to include food demonstrations, educational material distribution, Walk with an Educator, a bicycle fleet for youth with helmets and Bicycle Safety Clinics (by League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors (LCI) offered in partnership with BikeWalkCT) game and active toys, on three existing park or trail sites across the state at EFNEP locations. The events will provide an opportunity for trail safety and advocacy organizations to distribute information about bicycle and pedestrian safety and health education. Sites that may serve as pilots include Danbury, New Haven, Hartford, Meriden, or New Britain, all of which have existing outdoor recreation amenities, EFNEP education programs, and community partners with capacity.
Educational “street sheets. Educational materials development will include compiling a list of outdoor recreational amenities in the vicinity of the EFNEP site, adding them to existing educational “street sheets” (these include a variety of food, housing, and social services resources for low-income families) and printing.
Share the Trail Brochure about trail safety, etiquette on multi-use trails for bicyclists, walkers and equestrians.