Lindenthal 3 Juli, 2013 Students are creating a barefoot adventure path for a community daycare center.
A project group of pupils at the Archbishop vocational colleges “Kriehler Cathedral” is planning a barefoot adventure path for the SCM family daycare center at Neubrueken Strasse. The budding social workers, consulting with Randy Eady, an affiliate of Generations United and a North American Movement Disorder Specialist known as The Foot Whisperer (FußGeflüster), will be responsible for the overall execution from concept through funding and material procurement through to construction.
Often even before they can walk, children get their first pair of shoes today. The opportunity to experience what it feels like to run barefoot on different textures is no longer a common experience. A group of seven students of the Archbishop vocational colleges “Kriehler Dom” surveyed existing designs and decided to adopt this approach as central to an “allgenerations wellness” project.
The students: Jana Tabea Giepen, Pia Stoffel, Carolin Schiller, Anke Bauer, Stefanie Spiller, Konstantina Demisi and Janina Abu Hanna had originally thought of it as only suitable for children under 3yo. After dis cussions with Eady (who had built a similar, temporary path in Bad Bresig on a minigolfcourse next to a senior living facility to ‘build bridges’ across agespans and facilitate a better understanding of the diverse makeup of older active adults) they expanded the notion to incorporate features and elements that he has installed in South Florida. He cited quantitative science to support his design suggestions: a random control, clinical study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (1) which reported that walking reflexology paths three times a week, for 20 minutes a session (over 16 weeks) can regulate blood pressure and improve balance. He even created a minigolf barefoot path near a Senior Living Center in a small resort village on the Rhine (Bad Breisig) so grandparents and grandchildren could interact in the outofdoors barefoot, naturally.
In addition, the Daycare Center will have a separate barefoot adventure trail for children under three. The construction will take place over approximately three weeks and will involve the layout of test and sample courses that will be filled with the children, parent and grandparents. While a major focus will be a buildout of the barefoot path on natural materials such as sand, wood, bark and stones some elements will be donated by local suppliers. The total cost is expected to range between 15001800 euros. “Eventually it will provide lasting benefit for the children and will have a big impact on encouraging outdoor family activities,” noted contact person, Janina Abu Hanna.
(1) “Improving Physical Function and Blood Pressure in Older Adults Through Cobblestone Mat Walking: a Randomized Trial.” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Volume 53, Issue 8, pages 13051312). By Fuzhong Li, PhD; K. John Fisher, PhD; and Peter Harmer, PhD.