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Columbia Takes Lead in Creating Manhattan Hiking Trail

Columbia Takes Lead in Creating Manhattan Hiking Trail City Life Is Moving Bodies (CLIMB), a partnership of CUMC and community organizations, needs your help in creating a hiking trail that links the parks of Northern Manhattan from Central Park north to Swindler’s Cove, a park on the Harlem River at Dyckman Street and 10th Avenue.

CLIMB was launched last summer under the direction of Mindy Fullilove, M.D., professor of clinical psychiatry, to increase physical activity among residents of Northern Manhattan, as well as to promote local economic development, increase neighborhood safety and build community relations.

“Ten years ago people in Northern Manhattan stopped going out in their neighborhoods. They were afraid to linger on the street talking to neighbors, take their children to the parks, or window shop on busy streets,” Dr. Fullilove says. “These security measures seemed a good way to keep safe from random bullets but it was purchased at the price of outdoor life, physical activity and neighborhood socializing.”

Based on a review of exercise research by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (an independent, nonfederal task force created by the CDC), people increase their outdoor exercise if there is a nice trail nearby. CLIMB began developing the trail last summer. In park-based segments of the future trail, hikers will enjoy serene forest paths as well as spectacular views of the city from Manhattan’s eastern heights. At the same time, Dr. Fullilove says, hiking the city streets will invigorate local businesses and social and historical organizations.

CLIMB encourages CUMC faculty, staff and students to participate in its weekly walking meetings, create their own “City Life Is Moving Bodies Krewes” to hike, play baseball, or bike together, or help plan CLIMB’s second annual Hike the Heights festival on June 17. CUMC organizations can also help by becoming sponsors to help build the financial and social base of CLIMB.

For more information, or to join CLIMB, call 212-740-7292, or e-mail Dr. Lourdes Hernández-Cordero,