Get Out and Enjoy the Beauty
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he / she seeks.” – John Muir
Celebrating the vast and diverse collection of trails, greenways, and blueways in North Carolina, the Great State Trail Coalition launched the Year of the Trail in 2023. The Year of the Trail encourages all of us to recognize our role as champions of our natural resources and enjoy the benefits they have including health, wellness, and economic development across the state.
McGill Spin – McGill on the Move
This initiative inspired McGill to develop McGill on the Move, a challenge for our employees to get outdoors and enjoy our natural resources while celebrating the work McGill has done to improve trails and parks throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
McGill’s partners, local government clients, and state agencies are all instrumental in bringing these resources to us. The goal of McGill on the Move is to cultivate relationships with our local government partners by highlighting their parks and recreation successes, educate our own employees on the work that McGill has done throughout our service area to improve trails and parks, and have fun utilizing these resources to bond with other McGill employees in the process.
Multiple Challenges for All
A third of McGill employees, elected to kick off the five-month voluntary challenge on May 1st. Regardless of an individual’s passion, fitness level, or physical location, there is a challenge for all employes to get engaged.
- Outdoor Activity Challenge: Tracking walking, running, biking, kayaking, and canoeing outdoors
- Explorer Challenge: Tracking the number of McGill land planning and recreation projects visited
- Shutterbug Challenge: Submitting photos from McGill identified projects
- Creativity Challenge: Submitting a review of a park or trail McGill designed
- Cultivator Challenge: Encouraging each other to explore the outdoors together through employee-organized events
Identifying McGill Projects
Over the last 39 years, McGill has worked on parks and trails projects throughout its service area by providing services from land planning to sports lighting. These parks and trails offer opportunities to walk, run, hike, bike, kayak, canoe, along with other recreational activities. Using ArcGIS, McGill’s marketing team created an interactive online map of trails and parks McGill has worked on with a listing of locations by nearby office. This listing will be used to encourage employees to go to McGill parks and trails. This map will initially be used internally but may later be used externally to promote McGill’s services. This map is embedded in the SharePoint site, accessible only internally.
One such project includes the Pigeon River Whitewater Boat Launch where McGill provided civil engineering assistance to Cocke County, Tennessee to install four whitewater boat launches along the Pigeon River. Last week McGill team members Joel Storrow and Keith Webb visited the site.
“I am proud of McGill’s Pigeon River Whitewater Boat Launch project as it helps sustain an outdoor activity which has become quite popular with all ages. In addition, it supports economic development in beautiful Cocke County, helping to showcase their natural environment. It’s rewarding that our company can assist a valued client, like Cocke County, with such an impactful initiative,” states Joel Storrow.
Monthly Incentives and Prizes
Awards will be provided in each category: Activity, Explorer, Shutterbug, Creativity, and Cultivator. To keep employees engaged and motivated, a leaderboard, using aliases, has been created. Monthly goals have been identified and if reached employees will receive special branded attire and promotional items.
Cindy Takac, at McGill, describes what the program has meant to her so far, “From the moment I heard about McGill on the Move, I became excited and was ready to start. Not only was it a wonderful way to have fun with coworkers, but it provided a common goal that all of us could achieve. The list of McGill projects provided beautiful outdoor places for us to visit with coworkers and family. It has motivated me to plan my day around my 20-minute walk. Before the challenge, walking was not even on my radar. My commitment to be part of McGill on the Move was also a commitment to myself to get ’on the move.’ After two short weeks, I can see a significant improvement in myself. McGill on the Move has taken the McGill motto of shaping communities together to another level of shaping friends and families together!”
Let Us Design Your Next Project
McGill’s land planning and recreation team has designed over hundreds of parks, trails, and streetscapes across our footprint. Reach out to Mike Norris, McGill Director of Land Planning and Recreation today to discuss your community’s next project at firstname.lastname@example.org.