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Grant would create 'History & Health' loop

Posted at 2:37 PM, Apr 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-24 17:50:39-04
It's a combined effort of people trying to get a national grant for a local cause. All of it aimed at turning this neighborhood loop into an official history and health trail.
That trail would have multiple parts, with one leading from Banner UMC to go through the Jefferson Park Historic Neighborhood. Then, the plan is that doctors can 'prescribe' an outdoor trip for their patients.
The goal is to have multiple routes along this loop that doctors can provide for their patients, based on their health needs. The loop is also set to include about 100 years of historic signage, combining the charm of this neighborhood with benefits only fresh air and exercise can give. 
"Okay, daily walk for all Tucsonans," Dr. Randall Friese muttered as he signed a piece of white paper.
A fake prescription to highlight the cause, but - the idea is something Dr. Friese hopes all medical professionals start implementing. 
"If all of us did that with our patients, not just the primary care doctors... but all of us it would become more obvious that it is something we should be paying attention to," Dr. Friese said. 
Multiple groups, including the city, the neighborhood, the hospital and more - are pushing forward together on this 'History and Health' loop. They are developing a proposal to snag a $750,000 grant through the NPS Land and Water Conservation Fund Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partners.  
National Parks Service Urban Fellow Diana Rhoades said, they already have plans on exactly how to use that money.
"We'll have markers and we'll have signage," Rhoades said. "We'll have health-related information all along the walk, so people can do what's appropriate for them and their health care needs."
The proposal is due in just a few days and it is being developed strongly by the Neighborhood Association.
"We have this hospital expansion and the Grant Road Expansion," Rhoades said. "They have been going to hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of meetings and they put this proposal together as an outcome of those meetings."
Rhoades hopes her passion will benefit the community. 
"We need to be more active and have more active lifestyles and when you have beautiful spaces it makes you more motivated to want to get out there and do it," Rhoades said. 
The State Parks and Recreation Department will decide by mid-May if the proposal has made the first cut. Then, after that - the final decision on whether or not they'll actually get the grant money will happen in October.