Yesterday, Governor Jay Nixon was at Loose Park to officially announce the kick-off for his "100 Missouri Miles" Challenge.
A few weeks ago, American Trails, a national organization, named Missouri the "Best Trails State" for its collection of city and state-wned hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The Missouri State Parks system alone boasts more than 1000 miles of managed trails.
Meanwhile, the Katy Trail is the longest developed rail-trail in the nation, and alone brings in more than $18 million in tourism revenue for the state, and supports more than 100 dedicated jobs.
In honor of the "Best Trails State" Award, Nixon is challenging Missourians to the "100 Missouri Miles" challenge -- encouraging all Missourians between now and the end of the year to tackle 100 miles of trails -- either by hiking, biking, walking, horseback riding or kayaking.
As of this morning, more than 2000 Missourians have already signed up for the challenge and have tracked more than 8,000 miles of trails. You can sign up too at the website.
After the short press conference, Nixon invited those in attendence to join him as he walked the entire 1 mile loop around Loose Park. Around 50 people followed him around the loop -- and I have to say, the Governor keeps a very brisk pace!
First off, I think this is a really cool award for Missouri. I love that we're finally getting recognition for the great recreational activities we have in the state. I also think this is a really fun idea by the Governor and I am hopeful that a lot of people sign up to participate. I am signed up, and will highlight my journey to 100 miles (of which I'm 1 mile in after yesterday's walk) on this blog.
Meanwhile, I was disappointed that there was more political support from Kansas City for the announcement. KCMO Parks Department Head Mark McHenry was in attendence, but there was no representation from the mayor's office or the city council. Also, news coverage from the mainstream media also was suprisingly light given that he was kicking off the campaign in Kansas City (the initial kickoff event in St. Louis was rained out last weekend).
Website: 100 Missouri Miles