Why recognize Action Heroes?
We are all influenced by our surroundings... and often too busy to go out of our way to eat healthy and be physically active. Healthy Shasta wants to recognize and celebrate those who make healthy eating and physical activity choices convenient, enjoyable, affordable, more enticing or easier for others.
Meet the 2011 Healthy Shasta Action Heroes...
Friends of Coleman Fish Hatchery
The Friends of the Coleman Fish Hatchery is a volunteer organization that developed a new 2-mile nature trail along Battle Creek that allows people of all ages to get outdoors and enjoy nature while being active. Once the trail was completed in Fall 2010, the Friends added a nature hike to the school tours of the Coleman Fish Hatchery that they lead.
The trail has proven so popular that the Friends group has added an additional day of guided tours for students to learn about the Fish Hatchery and get out into nature. On any given day they may lead tours for up to 120 local students, from kindergarten to college age, as well as for community groups. Each fall, thousands of school children visit the fish hatchery to watch the fall Chinook salmon return.
The Friends group not only spearheaded trail development and spent countless volunteer hours building the trail, they also developed 40 educational signs along the route, created an educational board to teach students about duck identification (made of duck wings submitted by hunters), and help with the kids' fishing day in Mt. Shasta. They continue to develop games and activities to create a variety of experiences for the different ages of students that visit - and to encourage them to explore the outdoors - such as nature bingo. Although the Friends group was formed only about 4 years ago, many of its members have been volunteering at the Fish Hatchery and leading school field trips for many years.
The Battle Creek Salmon Trail
The new Battle Creek Salmon Trail was completed in 2010 through a partnership between the Friends, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Fish and Game. It connects the Coleman Fish Hatchery to the California Fish and Game's Battle Creek Wildlife area. The Friends contacted local teachers who had visited on field trips about the opportunity to build a trail and asked for help. Students responded with a letter writing campaign to California Fish and Game and before long the State installed a needed bridge. Next the Friends group applied to the Shasta Regional Community Foundation's McConnell Fund, this time with letters of support from Boulder Creek Elementary School students, to pay for trail construction materials, benches and signage. The Friends group organized work parties and volunteered over 700 hours for trail construction. Signs along the trail, created by the Friends group, educate walkers about salmon, local animals, birds, insects, plants and points of interest.
Why we like the Friends of Coleman Fish Hatchery:
These passionate and enthusiastic volunteers give their all to connect kids with nature. This new trail allows students to experience nature and get some exercise during their traditional class tours of the fish hatchery. The trail passes wetland ponds, provides views of the creek and an up close look at riparian plants. In an age when many children are focused on video games and electronics, the Friends have added a nature hike to school field trips and are continuously creating ways for kids to have fun and learn while exploring nature. Many students then bring their families to visit and hike the trail after they discover it on a field trip. The new trail will serve generations to come.
Take your family to explore the Battle Creek Salmon Trail (tips from the Friends):
- You'll see more critters if you walk quietly and visit in the early morning. Look for the eagle’s nest, wood ducks, beaver, raccoons and birds. In the fall you may see salmon in the creek.
- Bring water, lunch, cameras, binoculars...maybe even a bird or plant identification book.
- On the weekend park at the California Battle Creek Wildlife Area end of the trail (the gate between the Hatchery and trail is closed on weekends).
- Look for educational signs created by the Friends, which offer intriguing questions and provide facts along the route.
- If you carry it in, carry it out (trash bins and rest rooms are located on either end of the trail).
Learn more at:
- Coleman National Fish Hatchery
- California Fish & Game, Battle Creek Wildlife Area
- Battle Creek Salmon Trail Information & Maps
How can I help?
- Contact Jack at the Friend's group, 347-6485, to volunteer for trail maintenance days or to lead school field trips at the Fish Hatchery.
- Visit the Friends booth at the Salmon Festival (their primary fund raiser). The Salmon Festival is held on a Saturday in mid-October (October 15th in 2011).
- Help your kids connect with nature by visiting the trail as a family.
- Arrange a tour for a group of kids you know. Call the Hatchery at 365-8622 to arrange a school tour. Call the Friends group directly at 347-6485 to arrange an adult group tour.
Debbie Lungi, Principal of Lassen View Elementary School (kindergarten to 5th grade) in Redding, has been successful in making water, instead of sugary beverages, easy and refreshing for staff and students.
Lassen View School has replaced fruit punch at school events with cold flavored water. The water is naturally flavored with fresh fruit, vegetable slices or herbs to provide refreshing flavor without added calories or sweeteners. Students are drawn to the strawberry, orange and lemon-lime flavored waters.
This year Debbie took it a step further by removing the soda machine from the staff lounge and replacing it with a filtered water machine that supplies both hot and cold water. Each staff member received a reusable stainless steel water bottle with the school's name and Panther mascot on it. As staff increase their water consumption they serve as great role models for students at the school.
Lassen View School is also embracing many healthy changes under Debbie's leadership. They have a daily fruit and veggie bar at lunch, they value cooking breakfast and lunch from scratch as much as possible, and they added a mid-morning snack time for students. Chocolate milk has been scaled back to one day a week. Thanks to a grant from the National Fruit Tree Foundation, Lassen View planted about 45 fruit trees. Students will harvest fruit (as is safe) and much of it will be used in the cafeteria. Recent campus upgrades include a 1/3 mile walking path, picnic tables, additional cement for basketball and wall ball, and upper body equipment on the playground. Families who live nearby regularly use these recreational facilities during non-school hours.
Why we like Debbie:
Debbie is committed to helping Lassen View School students embrace healthier choices. When students are healthy they have better attendance and are better able to learn. Healthy habits established during childhood can last a lifetime. Sugar sweetened beverages are associated with childhood obesity but at Lassen View students are introduced to the idea of drinking water for good health and that flavored water can be a refreshing alternative to soda and sweetened drinks.
Debbie's suggestions for others who want to support healthy choices at school or work:
- Change doesn't happen overnight. Be patient and start small.
- Pick doable goals – start small and let it blossom. The hardest part is getting started.
- Think about the long term impact when serving kids and families.
- Keep in mind that things that help children's bodies stay healthy also help their minds be ready to learn.
Make Your Own Flavored Water:
Enjoy your own flavored water by simply adding ice along with fruit, vegetables and/or herbs before you drink it. Make a pichter full to keep in the fridge or on the table during meals. Ideas include fresh fruit (such as sliced lemons, limes or oranges), berries (such as frozen strawberries), sliced vegetables (cucumbers are popular) and/or herbs (such as mint leaves). Experiment with combinations such as cucumber with mint or lemons with oranges.
- Lassen View School
- Lassen View YouTube video
- Rethink Your Drink (National)
- Rethink Your Drink (California Project LEAN)
- School resources on healthyshasta.org
- Rethink Your Drink Pledge & Tips (with Spa Water recipe)
- School resources from North Carolina
- The Lunch Box (tools and recipes for school nutrition)
Wendell "Dub" Sanders
Wendell "Dub" Sanders' passion for basketball is contagious. Seven years ago he created Dub's Blacktop Classic, a 6-week basketball tournament in Martin Luther King Center Park in Redding, to give adult men an opportunity to play basketball and have fun beyond a one day event. This alcohol, tobacco and drug free series fosters a positive atmosphere and competitive spirit for those who attend. Many families come spend the early evenings at the park while their husbands and dads compete.
Players eagerly await turning 18 to play in this competitive ‘street ball’ tournament. Teams travel from as far as Oroville, Burney, and Yreka to participate. The tournament also offers organized activities for youth and a free BBQ each year, provided by Redding Councilman Patrick Jones, City of Redding, and Martin Luther King Center.
Wendell also stays busy coaching local youth teams. He is Assistant Coach at Liberty Christian High School and also coaches for the Shasta Magic High School Girls Basketball and Redding United Basketball (a team for high school students from any Redding area school).
Why we like Wendell:
By launching the basketball series, Wendell has provided adult men a great opportunity to get active and have fun. The series provides a healthy and positive atmosphere in a neighborhood park while encouraging people to get out and play. More organized activity in the park makes it safer and more interesting for kids and neighbors to visit the park. Organized sports opportunities encourage people to be more physically active than they might otherwise be on their own.
Sources of Inspiration:
Wendell credits a mentor and coach he had when he was younger for inspiring him in a positive way. Now it's his turn to engage others in a positive, healthy activities. He also enjoys coaching for his children's teams. Wendell thanks the City of Redding, the Martin Luther King Multicultural Center, Eddie McAllister, and local sponsors for partnering on the Blacktop Classic Basketball series.
How Long Has Wendell Been Doing This?
Wendell began playing basketball at a young age. He began coaching youth teams about 8 years ago and the Blacktop Classic was established 7 years ago.
- Tournament registration information is available at Redding Recreation (typically in the spring).