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A new path for UF Law community

Walking trail

Dean Robert Jerry stands with members of Running with Lidsky and others after dedicating the law school's new half-mile walking trail that circles campus. (Photo by Nicole Safker)

By Matt Walker
Senior Writer

It can be difficult to make time for exercise in between all the obligations that come with being a law student, but a new walking trail at the Levin College of Law should make it a little easier to increase heart rates without having to leave the law school campus.

The half-mile trail, which circles the UF Law campus, was officially dedicated Jan. 14 with Dean Robert Jerry offering a few remarks, followed by Professor Lyrissa Lidsky's running club making the inaugural lap around the trail in the brisk afternoon air.

"The trail is a great way to promote fitness at the law school," Jerry said. "I hope this group will continue to grow when we walk around out here in the future."

Jerry also announced that UF Law created a fitness Web page that provides information about the walking trail as well as other fitness options available around the University of Florida campus.

"This is also a great opportunity for us to think about another initiative we will probably roll out here at the law school: the study of walking trail law," the dean added jokingly. He continued to cite actual legal cases that involve walking trails and one involving the "sub-specialty" of fitness trails.

Lidsky took a moment to say that she was glad the running club was able to help inaugurate the trail, before the group set off with Jerry for the first official lap around the campus.

The inspiration for the walking trail developed last summer when Professor Leonard Riskin had the idea to promote healthy lifestyles on campus by creating a fitness walk on the third floor of Holland Hall, said Jerry. But after further discussions, they decided it would be more interesting to create the trail outside.

The new trail begins at the northwest corner of the Advocacy Center, moving between Bruton-Geer Hall before turning north to Southwest 2nd Ave. Following Southwest 2nd Ave., the trail turns south at Village Drive before coming back to the starting point at the Advocacy Center. The path was accurately measured and plotted out by Facilities Manager Robert Horn, and his staff painted distance markers every 0.05 miles with arrows along the way to keep people on the trail, said Debra Staats, associate dean for administrative and fiscal affairs.

"I hope the law school community takes advantage of this easy and convenient way to get in some exercise on our campus," Staats said. "I myself plan to bring in my walking shoes and try to get moving more."