Goodell Gardens celebrates opening day with trail run event
Registration now open for Tree Hugger Trail Run April 30
EDINBORO – Participants in the Tree Hugger Trail Run will be the first to experience new woodland trails at Goodell Gardens & Homestead. Slated for Saturday, April 30, the inaugural trail run/walk will support the public garden, arboretum, and community gathering space located in Edinboro.
“We are so excited to add the Tree Hugger Trail Run to our 2022 Program of Events,” Goodell Gardens Executive Director Amber Wellington said. “Our Strategic Plan calls for building a new trail system on our 80-acre property. Our trails are being built in a phased approach, and the first phase is now ready for the public to preview. The trail system is still under development, but we are excited to open our trails to the public.”
In 2020 the organization brought together a committee of community members, board members, and staff to create a 3-year strategic plan with six overarching goals for the organization – one of which was adding trails.
“We are blessed to be the caretakers of this peaceful place, where individuals and groups can come and share in beautiful scenery and serene encounters with nature. As we move north on the property our plan is to establish additional gardens and spaces for the community to enjoy,” said Board President, Dr. Marian S. Beckman, who also chaired the Strategic Planning Committee. “The new trails allow us to share the rich beauty of the Goodell property and they give the community more opportunities to enjoy, to gather, to learn and to refresh in mind, body, and spirit.”
Creating the plan included evaluating existing and potential new programs, including adding a run/walk. “Combining the new event with the new trails felt like a perfect match,” Beckman said. And so, the Tree Hugger Trail Run was born. Goodell Gardens began cutting trails in late 2020, with the first trails opened to the public mid-summer 2021. Trails were built with the help of several people, including Board Vice President/Trails Committee Chair James R. Hill, Board Treasurer/Trails Committee Member Randy Walker, Gardens & Grounds Manager David Darling, II, Edinboro Community Church, Cornerstone Baptist Church (Inverness, FL), volunteer and Strategic Plan Committee Member Michael Baum, Board Member Ray Overholt, Events Technician Eric Johnson, Hermitage House Youth Services, Dr. Mary McDade, Matt Till, Randy Walker’s Mighty Oak Tree Farm, Buzz Walker Farms, Richard Walker, former Landscape Manager Brooke Harrison, Board President Dr. Marian S. Beckman, and Executive Director Amber Wellington.
McDade joined the Board of Directors in January 2022, and has been involved in planning the trail run since early 2021. Wellington said that McDade’s experience as an athletic trainer and avid runner has been essential to the planning process.
“Trail runs/walks are such an awesome way to get outside and take advantage of nature,” said McDade. “And since this trail run/walk is being held at Goodell Gardens and Homestead it makes it even more special.”
Registration for the Tree Hugger Trail Run is now open. While day-of registrations will be accepted, pre-registration is strongly encouraged, and the deadline to register and receive a limited-edition Tree Hugger Trail Run t-shirt featuring the artwork of local illustrator Eric Johnson is April 8. The event will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022 – opening day for Goodell Gardens & Homestead. The run will be professionally timed by the Big White Trailer. The day will start with check-in at 9 a.m. The first runners will begin at 10 a.m., with walkers and casual runners starting at 10:03 a.m. A shorter run for kids 12 & under will begin at 10:50 a.m. Awards will be presented at 11:15 a.m. The top two runners (men/women) will win a sapling tree of their very own Handmade wooden medals will be presented to the top two men and women in each of the following categories: 12 & under, 13-17, 18-40, 41-65, 65+.
Following the awards ceremony, a balance bike event for toddlers and preschoolers – organized by 814 Outdoor Sports -will be held.
Other activities during the event include face painting with Taradoodles, Balloons with the Real Magic Steve, live music from the Goodell Gardens String Band, the Dunkin Donuts Food Truck, tree-themed activities and crafts for kids, on-site massage therapists and more!
Sponsors for the Tree Hugger Trail Run include Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA), the Beckman Family, Walker Brothers Buick Chevrolet, MJ’s Runners Club, Edinboro Subway, Lakeside Bagel, Eberle Physical Therapy, Afton Trucking, Charles E. Wellman Trucking & Landscaping Supplies, Environmental Remediation & Recovery, Hobbs Lumber & Hardware, Steadman Law Office, and Mindful Paths. For more information, or to register to run, visit www.goodellgardens.org/trailrun.