Monday, March 16, 2015

Muskegon County Walking Challenge

Muskegon County Generational Walking Challenge encourages all ages to get active.

Has the winter kept you cooped up indoors for too long? Has it become difficult to climb the stairs? Have the kids been spending more time online than enjoying the fresh air? Health and recreation partners in Muskegon County are hosting an eight-week Generational Walking Challenge this spring to get all ages active in the great outdoors.

The Generational Walking Challenge will begin Monday, April 6, with a kick-off event at the Snug Harbor day-use area of Muskegon State Park. Bring the family to register for the walking challenge, then check out fitness presentations, free health screenings from the Health Project and information about local trails and parks. 

“This is part of the large partnership to promote healthy lifestyles using Michigan state parks and recreation areas as part of the ‘Big Green Gym’ program,” said Ron Olson, chief of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Parks and Recreation Division.

"This short-term commitment can have a lifetime of benefits, and it all starts with the first step,” said Ann Conklin, chief operating officer for Michigan Recreation and Parks Association.

Registration for the challenge also is available by emailing All registered participants will receive a form to track their activity during the challenge. 

Muskegon State Park will host a weekly walk Mondays at 5 p.m. (meeting at Snug Harbor) to help participants complete their walking goals. The Generational Walking Challenge also encourages people to get out to local parks and trails and get active with running, bicycling and more. 

At the end of eight weeks, on May 9, participants can turn in their activity-tracking forms for a chance to win prizes. The grand prize for the family or group that logs the most minutes of activity is a two-night stay at Muskegon State Park’s yurt (limit seven people per team). P.J. Hoffmaster State Park will host a completion celebration Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m. Completion celebration attendees also can get information about other active living opportunities and resources in Muskegon and around Michigan. 


“This event not only gets people active, but it’s also a chance to spend time with loved ones,” said Elissa Buck, recreation programmer for the Michigan DNR. “It’s a great way for residents to explore Michigan’s parks and trails with their family and friends, and maybe start a new family activity tradition.”

This program is funded by the Department of Community Health's Active Living Grant, in partnership with Michigan Recreation and Park Association and the Michigan DNR. Other partners include the Health Project, EcoTrek Fitness and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

For more information about the Generational Walking Challenge, please contact Elissa Buck at 989-313-0000 or email

Inside Michigan’s Great Outdoors subscribers are always the first to know about reservation opportunities, state park events and other outdoor happenings. Visit to subscribe now.

There is no charge to participate in the Generational Walking Challenge, but a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Muskegon State Park and P.J. Hoffmaster State Park for the kick-off event, weekly walks and the completion celebration.

A Recreation Passport grants vehicle access to any Michigan state park, boat launch, state forest campground or nonmotorized state trailhead parking. Residents can purchase the Passport for just $11 ($5 for motorcycles) at the time of Michigan license plate renewal through Secretary of State. Forgot to check “YES” during renewal? Residents and nonresidents can purchase a Recreation Passport window sticker during regular business hours at state parks. Learn more about how the Recreation Passport supports state parks and local outdoor recreation opportunities at


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The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 1 to 6 is BEST
  • 7 to 9 is OK
  • 11 or more is BAD

Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.

A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]

  • 70 NOT GOOD
  • 80 GOOD
  • 90 BETTER
  • 100+ BEST

The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.

Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

K index [ LOW is GOOD ]

  • 0 or 1 is BEST
  • 2 is OK
  • 3 or more is BAD
  • 5 is VERY VERY BAD

The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.

A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.

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