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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Faculty and staff brave the cold for a snowshoe outing

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Photo: Laine Girard / Grand Valley Lanthorn

(Far Left) Joe Bitely, A member of the OAC (Outdoor Adventure Center) staff, leads faculty & staff on a snowshoe adventure through Grand Valley’s beautiful snow covered trails. GVL / Laine Girard

On Jan. 16, Grand Valley State University faculty and staff members strapped on their snowshoes and took a peaceful walk through the white-covered campus.

This first snowshoe walk of the year gave faculty and staff the opportunity to get out of their offices, experience the crisp, cold January air and feel the snow under their feet.

“(My favorite part is) just being outdoors,” said Joe Bitely, leader of the walks and Climbing Center manager. “I usually try to look for the less populated spots like back in the ravines and on all the trails.”

The GVSU Outdoor Adventure Center is organizing this free event every Thursday from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. until Feb. 27. Participants may meet in parking lot O (Calder Lot), and any faculty or staff member can join. No snowshoeing experience is necessary, and snowshoes are provided.

“It’s just to give faculty some more fitness options outside of the traditional things that were already available through health and wellness,” Bitely said.

Bitely, himself, picked up snowshoeing while working at GVSU.

“I didn’t really get into snowshoeing until I started working here at Grand Valley,” he said. “They had (snowshoes) available as part of the rental equipment in the Outdoor Adventures Center.”

This year, Bitely wants to add even more variety to the walks by snowshoeing on the golf course.

Mary Reimink, systems analyst at GVSU, attended the first walk on Thursday with two of her co-workers.

“I had a great time,” Reimink said. “It was a lot of fun to get out and breathe some fresh air.”

Reimink has participated in the snowshoe walks in years past and wants to continue with them in the future.

“I encourage people to go out and give it a try because it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Those interested in participating in this activity can register at www.gvsu.edu/seminar.



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