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Activity Path created at Kump Education Center

Brown bear claws crawl, orange ant legs creep, and blue kid feet scamper along the newly painted Activity Path at Kump Education Center. It is in the orchard right across Randolph Avenue from Kroger, and the kids will love having something fun to do outside after a long ride in the shopping cart. The best way to enter KEC is to turn on Seneca Road above the property and go in the gate beyond the barn.

Tracey Valach from the WVU Extension Service said that this type of Activity Paths was designed to make kids move outdoors after days of being cooped up inside doing online learning during the pandemic. Tracey and Casey McCoy go to schools and parks around the state to paint shapes on sidewalks that can inspire kids to do different types of movement at different points along the path. Our pathway starts with Hopscotch numbers; after that kids go down low with creepy, crawly critters; next thing you know they are up hopping again.

The KEC path is sponsored by the Early Childhood Task Force of the Chamber of Commerce Vibrant Communities project. Karrah Washington from United Way is the leader of that task force. Michael Hayes, Rachel Anger, and I are her minions, and we all liked the idea of having a place for activity at KEC.

The KEC path is like an imaginative obstacle course, and it gives a creative purpose to a sidewalk that had no place else to go. It was put through the orchard years ago by Miss Mary Kump. For some unexplained reason the sidewalk comes about two thirds of the way down from the gate where the mailbox and garbage pickup spot were located. There it stops in the grass, and if the weather is wet, feet get wet on the last part for the trek to deposit garbage or to retrieve mail.

Now the path that leads to nowhere has a place to go, and it suggests a variety of methods of moving along the way. The whole journey is more meaningful because it helps children remember that human beings are not alone in this globe. The tiny ants, huge bears, and funny green frogs play an active part in the story of life on earth.

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