Hikes for Health challenge aims to unearth local hidden gems:
Metro Atlanta may be densely populated with people, cars, and tall buildings — but look a little closer, and you’ll find hidden pockets of emerald green amidst the shimmering skyline.
“We have 22 acres of green space, including wetlands…it looks like the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.”
Debbie Griffin is describing the Dunwoody Nature Center, for which she serves as director of development.
“What we do here is educate about our natural surroundings, inspire others to be outdoors and enjoy it, and also preserve,” Griffin explains.
The Dunwoody Nature Center is one of 10 metro Atlanta greenspace nonprofits currently collaborating on a new project, called Hikes for Health; Buckhead’s 30-acre Blue Heron Nature Preserve is another.
“Since August 2018, we’ve gotten together, we have networked, we have toured each other’s trails and green spaces, and we decided that we needed to do something really special,” says Blue Heron Nature Preserve executive director Melody Harclerode. “Over the years, we wanted to collaborate, but we couldn’t figure out the exact ‘what.’ What would it be that we could do, something better than just one individual organization?”
The answer was Hikes for Health — challenging locals to explore 10 trails, located in 10 different green spaces, over the span of 10 months. Chastain Park Conservancy, Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Friends of Lost Corner, Parks Cobb County, Peachtree Creek Greenway, Sandy Springs Conservancy, and Livable Buckhead are also part of the challenge, along with community partners REI and Kaiser Permanente.
The idea is to unearth these hidden gems, from the rushing water of the Dunwoody Nature Center to the heart-stopping hills of Buckhead’s PATH 400.
“PATH 400 is a walking-biking trail, and it runs along the spine of Georgia 400. And when it’s finally completed — we’re about 80-percent done — it’ll be 5.2 miles,” says Livable Buckhead’s Anna Sharp. “There’s some killer hills on PATH400 that I highly recommend getting your heart rate up on!”
Organizers say as the heart rate goes up, they hope stress levels go down — using all that gorgeous green as a way to lessen the blues.
“The studies have shown about the medicinal, the therapeutic part of nature, connecting with nature, of walking - of just spending time listening and absorbing the beauty of nature,” says Harclerode.
For more information on the Hikes for Health challenge — and to sign up — click here. As of now, the challenge is scheduled to run through June of 2021.
Grammy-winner Dionne Warwick talks masks, music, and design:
When legendary singer Dionne Warwick stopped by the Good Day Atlanta studios last December, she talked about all of her upcoming projects … except one.
"They had a non-disclosure agreement. I mean, the CIA had nothing on that show,” said the Grammy-winning entertainer, who appeared as The Mouse on the third season of the FOX hit “The Masked Singer.” According to the “Walk On By” singer, the show takes anonymity very seriously.
“I couldn't talk to anyone,” Warwick says. “I mean, they had me covered from head to toe. I couldn't speak to anybody, they couldn't speak to me!"
Warwick calls her time on the show “wonderful,” but now she’s shifting her attention back to another passion — interior design. She and business partner Bruce Garrick are the duo behind WG Design Labs, having met through Garrick’s late design partner.
"He went to a party and came back and said he met this wonderful lady, Dionne Warwick, and that she — believe it or not — loves interior design. And I said, 'Well, let's meet,'" Garrick said. "She came over to the house, we hit it off, and that's the end of the story. We've been together 30 years."
After taking a bit of a break, Warwick and Garrick are taking on clients — excited, they say, to help turn vision into reality.
“We have a rule of thumb that we don't just put our look or cookie-cutter on anything. That we get to know the client, what they want, and...you create with that," Garrick said.
Warwick agrees: “That's my feeling as well. You know, my feeling basically is, we will not be living there. They will."
It’s a lot of work running a business, of course, but there’s always time for a celebration — especially since Warwick is about to hit her milestone 80th birthday in December.
"I'm going to do a birthday party. I am. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to do it," she said. "I give myself a birthday party every single year!"
For more information on WG Design Labs, click here.
FOX Soul interview with Brooke Thomas:
Brooke Thomas has worked as a TV news anchor and reporter for the past 10 years in cities all over the country. From Memphis to Dallas, Philadelphia, and smaller markets like Lubbock, Texas and Devils Lake, North Dakota — she’s anchored morning newscasts, reported breaking news, broke down political news, and asked your favorite celebs questions on award show red carpets.
Thomas is currently based in Los Angeles. You may have also seen her “acting” as a reporter on "Madam Secretary," "Veronica Mars," "Rel," and the movie "Canal Street." Her passion is highlighting stories about marginalized communities— people who don’t always get their fair share of representation in media. You can follow Brooke on social media @BrookeOnAir on Instagram and Twitter. Facebook is Facebook.com/BrookeThomasTV.
Maria More gives tips on how adults 35 and older can adjust fitness goals as you age:
The older you get the tougher it may be for you to work out - whether it is because of a busy schedule, or just lack of motivation. It's also harder to get your body into shape as you age too. Maria More gives tips on how to adjust your fitness goals as you age.