By Misty Newman
Maricopa is an amazing place and I am proud to say I live in this community. I am excited to be a part of this new adventure with InMaricopa as one of the contributing writers for InMaricopa Outdoors.
The mission of InMaricopa Outdoors is to connect with the community and encourage families to be active and healthy. The information and resources we are going to provide on outdoor related activities, recreations, and events, is a way to build partnerships within the community and to inspire families to be healthy. Our vision is to help shape Maricopa into one of the healthiest communities in Arizona.
Together, we can make Maricopa a place where people are happy to say they live. There are many outdoor activities and recreation opportunities in Maricopa and the surrounding areas and we are here to shine a light on those activities.
There is always a need for additional resources; research indicates obesity and ADHD among children has risen over the years due to more time indoors. The time indoors is often spent watching TV or playing on electronic devices. Becoming aware of and then engaging in a particular activity could change the course of a youth’s life. Through providing families and residents of Maricopa with comprehensive information and resources, the likelihood of participating in activities will increase.
According to a study out of Pennsylvania State University, families that participate in outdoor recreation are closer, and it is a way to promote healthy youth development.
Maricopa is still a fairly new city and has many opportunities for growth. One of the strategies stated in the Maricopa 2040 Vision plan is to “create and maintain a connected system of open spaces and recreational opportunities throughout the city.” This is in line with the vision for InMaricopa Outdoors to “support citizen health, environmental cohesiveness and community pride.”
According to the 2010 Census, there are over 11,000 families that live in Maricopa. We are an active community already, and many families do participate in programs through Copper Sky and the city of Maricopa. The Recreation Guide through the City of Maricopa is an excellent resource for parents to get their child involved in sports and activities. However, some working parents due to their schedules may not be able to get their children involved in city-sponsored sports and activities. The resources on InMaricopa Outdoors will provide additional options for residents and families. InMaricopa Outdoors will also expose the Maricopa community to information on recreation that typically they wouldn’t discover on their own.
Once in a while, I hear people say there isn’t anything to do in Maricopa; I disagree with this statement. From swimming at Copper Sky to the Cyclist Team to the new motocross track, it’s happening right here in Maricopa. There are three aviation companies just outside Maricopa where you can get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Arizona desert.
To achieve our mission and vision, there are a number of ways we are going to do this:
► Conduct Interviews and promote local businesses that are related to outdoor adventure and recreation. There are some businesses in Maricopa that get more traffic from out-of-town folks. By spreading the word, it will boost their business and the economy overall in Maricopa.
► Conduct interviews with families going on amazing adventures together. How do they do it? What does it take?
► Conduct interviews with individuals and local athletes in our community. What was involved in their training? What are they doing to be successful?
► Provide information on upcoming events and articles on different types of outdoor recreation. InMaricopa Outdoors can be the one place residents and visitors go to when looking for things to do.
► Provide information and resources on outdoor safety and conservation.
We are also going to ask for story ideas, calendar events, suggestions and feedback. We want to connect with the community and inspire more people to get off the couch and out the door. As our city grows, so will the need for additional recreation. We want to pave the way for future generations in Maricopa and create a community in which people are proud to live.
Misty Newman grew up in Idaho and was raised in the outdoors. She loves to go camping, hiking, fishing, & rafting. In her past life, two of her favorite recreational activities included bungee jumping and rock climbing. She was a ranger for a state park, a Recreation Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club, and the photo editor at the College of Southern Idaho. She moved from Idaho in 2007 and has lived in Maricopa since. She now enjoys exploring AZ with her two beautiful children. Visit http://www.maricopaoutdooradventures.com/