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Stepping to better fitness and health


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Alice Campbell Havre Daily News [email protected]

A stairway to better health is being planned in Havre. It will be "very useful to those of us who like to stay healthy," and will be a "one-of-a-kind deal in Montana," Mayor Bob Rice said about the project he's been working on for several years. After hearing about a health walk in Santa Barbara, Calif., that was getting used by 200,000 to 300,000 people a year, Rice decided a similar walk would be a good addition to Havre. While Havre has a lot of walking trails, Rice said, there are no paths like the steps, that he hopes Montana State University-Northern students and employees as well as city residents will use to enhance their wellness. The walk in Havre will rise approximately 90 feet vertically over the span of 300 feet horizontally, said Jeremy Siemens, who worked with his topographical drafting students at Northern to take measurements this past spring. The 180-step stairway will include two rest stops with benches off to the side, Rice said. A small pavilion-type structure will be at the top of the stairs with benches and tables for people to rest and maybe even enjoy a picnic, he added. Rice said he wanted to begin breaking ground this fall, but said that it looks like construction won't start until the spring. In the meantime, Rice said he hopes to raise funds to complete the stairway that is estimated to cost approximately $50,000 Bill Baltrusch has already donated the cement for the project. The work on the project up to this point has come from volunteers, with Becki Miller taking measurements gathered by a topographical drafting class at MSU-Northern to draw the project plans, Rice said. "I think (the students) liked the fact that it would actually be used for something instead of just being another project," Siemens said. Rice said he hopes that people will support the project and that he is looking into grants to help with funding.


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