Get fit, have fun and explore the city in mayor’s walking challenge

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published March 28, 2017

 Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier and his wife, Nicole Fournier, stop at City Hall with their children Emery, 5; Avelin, 9; and Charlie, 3, for a visit with ROMI the dog. ROMI is the mascot of the mayor’s 50 Miles in 50 Days  Walking Challenge.

Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier and his wife, Nicole Fournier, stop at City Hall with their children Emery, 5; Avelin, 9; and Charlie, 3, for a visit with ROMI the dog. ROMI is the mascot of the mayor’s 50 Miles in 50 Days Walking Challenge.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Advertisement
Advertisement

ROYAL OAK — Mayor Michael Fournier is lacing up his walking shoes and inviting the entire community to reach their step goals while enjoying the city and maybe winning a few prizes along the way.

“Royal Oak is an amazing, walkable community,” he said. “We have so many treasures and assets, as we all are aware. Within walking distance, we compact a lot into 11 square miles.”

Fournier and his fellow members of the City Commission invite everyone to participate in the mayor’s 50 Miles in 50 Days Walking Challenge, which will kick off April 15 and run through June 3.

“I’m excited about it,” Fournier said. “I look forward to participating in it, I look forward to the community walks and I look forward to all it has to offer.”

The thought behind the challenge is to get people out to enjoy some physical activity while bonding with neighbors and seeing the city’s assets.

Fournier will host two guided walks during the challenge: an Art Explored Walk on May 11 and a Park Walk on June 1. Everyone who walks with the mayor will receive a Royal Oak reflector ID tag for themselves or their pets.

The park walk will begin at Veterans of Foreign Wars Park and will step over to Dondero Park, where many recent improvements have been made.

“So bring your tennis rackets, your basketballs, baseballs, kickballs,” said Royal Oak Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids. “We’ll have it all there.”

Davids said members of the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts will attend the Art Explored Walk.

“They will help us understand the great public art collection that we have,” she said.

Other mapped-out walks that community members may take on their own include a 1-mile history walk and a 1-mile nature walk, which will go through Tenhave Woods.

Participants are encouraged to log onto romi.gov/50in50 to download self-guided maps with suggested 1-mile routes and a tracking log. Those who complete the log and challenge will receive a water bottle and other perks. Copies may also be picked up at City Hall.

Davids said the average person walks about 1 mile in 2,000 steps.

“Fifty miles in 50 days is obviously the equivalent to 1 mile per day, but you could walk 5 miles on a Saturday, or you could walk to Pontiac and back and get your 50 miles all at once if you want,” she said.

No walking challenge would be complete without a furry mascot, and ROMI the dog will serve as the mayor’s for this endeavor.

Davids said she had the idea after someone pointed out that the outline of the shape of the city looks like a dog.

Others agreed, and ROMI the walking terrier signed up for the job.

ROMI will attend the two guided walks with the mayor.

“I encourage everyone to come out to the public walks. I know a number of commissioners are going to be there as well,” Fournier said. “And while we’re walking, if you have questions about us, about where the future of the city is going, it’s a great opportunity just to mingle and be heard and hear us, and I think it will be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it.”

For more information, visit ROMI.gov/50in50.

Advertisement
Advertisement