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Walking Club: Pasco County educators tackle 'Teacher Trek Tuesday'

Walking Club: Pasco educators tackle 'Teacher Trek Tuesday'
Posted at 4:32 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 08:11:59-04

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.

Two Pasco County educators have been on a mission this summer to visit different parks every week. They call it ‘Teacher Trek Tuesday’ and have been posting about their adventures in Sarah’s Walking Club on Facebook.

Mary Hensel and Natalie Neff both teach at Trinity Elementary School in New Port Richey.

“It really does reduce our stress level with COVID cases rising and things like that,” said Neff. “It’s nice to have a wonderful thing that you can do that doesn’t put you at risk because you’re outside enjoying the great outdoors.”

Some recent stops include Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Pete, Crews Lake Wilderness Park in Pasco County and McGough Nature Park in Largo.

“Their volunteers were awesome and we just love the turtle pond!” said Hensel.

Neff says they’re learning about each other along the way and are also seeing things from each other's perspectives.

“We were looking at at a scene and Mary said to me, ‘Look at the different textures,’” said Neff. “Without an art teacher there, I would have never thought of that.”

Hensel, a cancer survivor, says she doesn’t like to put things off and is happy they took on the challenge.

“We were setting a reasonable goal that we could keep up with and I was really glad that Natalie was all in with it and that we really stuck with it,” she said.

The pair plan to continue their ‘Teacher Treks’ during the school year, but instead of Tuesdays, they’re aiming for the weekends.

“We’re gonna need it to reduce stress to keep us going,” said Neff. “It’s really good to reset.”

Join Walking Club!

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming Walking Club stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!

You can also keep up with Sarah on Instagram and Twitter