Monday, September 30, 2013

Walking Club Makes Cemetery a Place for the Living: Arlington Memorial Gardens

by Daniel Applegate
President, Arlington Memorial Gardens

Arlington Memorial Gardens introduced our new Arlington Walking Club on June 1, 2013, inviting the public to use Arlington roadways as a literal walking facility. Since then, we’re thrilled to report that over 40 people have registered and are now walking through our grounds on a regular basis.

One might wonder why a cemetery would want to open-up its facilities to an activity like walking? Well, the quick answer to that question is the rhetorical: Why not? But, more deeply than that, the answer lies within the fact that while Arlington is indeed a cemetery with its obvious connection to the dead, it is in reality a place for the living. If, as we believe, that is the case, then we want our facilities to be used as much as practical by the living.

To create an incentive and to introduce an element of competition, we are tracking the distances that each participant walks and then reports to us. As a result of that tracking, we will present an award to the Top 10 finishers each and every month; and then on November 4th, we will present grand prizes to the Top 5 walkers for mileage accumulated from June 1 – October 31.

To be sure, the concept for our Arlington Walking Club initially was very simplistic. However, following our kick-off on June 1st, we continued to think of improvements and expanded our original concept which has now morphed into a much improved model.

As a result, we now have a 2-mile route, a 3-mile route and a 5-mile route. Those routes are defined on maps that are available on this site by clicking here. We also have provided an on-line log for the convenience of participants; the log can be found by following this link. And finally, we post the Top 10 Walkers for each month, which can be found at this Arlington link.

To all of our walking participants, we would merely ask that you exercise the appropriate decorum and respect for our visitors and patrons. I’m sure that goes without saying…and happy walking to all of you.

If you are interested in the Arlington Walking Club, please submit an Arlington Contact Us request for information.

Daniel Applegate became part of the Arlington Memorial Gardens organization in 2001 and has worked in the cemetery industry since 1981, including serving as Secretary/Treasurer and then as President of the Ohio state cemetery association.  He was appointed by Ohio Governor George Voinovich and served two terms on the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, Ohio's cemetery oversight agency. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.