Wright Park walk kicks off 2015 series

Tacoma will celebrate National Walking Day by hosting the free Walk Tacoma Kickoff on Wednesday in Wright Park.

The event, which begins at noon, is a partnership between Metro Parks Tacoma, Downtown On the Go and the American Heart Association.

The walk also will kick off the 2015 Walk Tacoma series sponsored by CHI Franciscan Health and the Walk Around the World campaign. The first 250 walk participants Wednesday will receive a swag bag.

The 1.5-mile history walk will wind through Wright Park and the Stadium District, led by Melissa McGinnis of Metro Parks; Bill Baarsma, former Tacoma Mayor, and Derek Young of Exit 133. Participants will learn about the history of Wright Park, residential complexes adjacent to the park and Stadium High School.

The walk will begin at the south side of Wright Park near the lion sculptures. Walkers can visit information booths from 11:30 a.m.-noon to learn more about healthy lifestyles, healthy commutes and other walking information.

All Walk Tacoma events are free, and there is no pre-registration necessary.

National Walking Day will also kick off the communitywide effort to Walk Around the World, a 24,859-mile challenge. Participants will be encouraged to walk for both health and transportation, and log their walks on the trip calendar at PierceTrips.com to earn prizes and be a part of the community program.

Walk Tacoma 2015, sponsored by CHI Franciscan Health, is a nine-event walking series held on the first and third Wednesdays from April through August. The themed walks, now in their sixth year, encourage people to enjoy downtown on foot by introducing new walking routes and sharing information about the community and its history through the guided tours. The walks are scheduled during the lunch hour and just after work to encourage downtown employees to walk during their workday, whether it is to and from work or at a lunch break.

For more information on the full Walk Tacoma Series or Walk Around the World, visit downtownonthego.org or find them on Facebook or Twitter.