Program is a Collaboration between by Cape Ann Mass in Motion and Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library
GLOUCESTER — Public Health Director Karin Carroll and Cape Ann Mass in Motion Grant Coordinator Jennifer Donnelly are pleased to announce snowshoes are now available for borrowing through the Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library.
Snowshoes can be requested by patrons with a Manchester library card in good standing Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library at 978-526-7711 during normal curbside pick up hours. There are six pairs of unisex adult snow shoes available that rated up to 150 and 250 pounds and include poles. In addition, there are eight pairs of children’s snowshoes.
Loans are for seven days and patrons will need to fill out a liability waiver and borrowing agreement, which can either be filled out before or during the equipment pick up. Snowshoes do incur a late fine of $5 per day. Snowshoe bags include a visual of how to put snowshoes on and a list of North Shore sites where snowshoeing is welcome.
“We were thrilled to see the immediate enthusiasm for circulating snowshoes; all adult pairs and most children’s pairs were checked out in the first five hours!,” Manchester-by-the-Sea Library Director Sara Collins said. “In addition, the first hour these checkouts began, we were getting calls from other libraries in the state considering snowshoe circulation.”
Patrons can also place holds on the items if they are currently checked out. More information about the program can be found on the Library’s site here.
“Snowshoeing is a great activity for the winter months for community members of all ages and a perfect way to spend some time outdoors during the pandemic,” Donnelly said. “We are lucky to be in an area that has such an abundance of walking trails perfect for this kind of exercise. Not only is this a great way to incorporate movement into your day, snowshoeing also has added mental health benefits from being out in nature.”
Cape Ann Mass in Motion, which is part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Municipal Wellness and Leadership initiative, sought to bring this program to the area to further its mission of preventing obesity and lowering rates of chronic disease by increasing opportunities for healthy food access and active living. The group modeled this program after a similar initiative the State of Vermont Public Health Department established at over 50 libraries in the Green Mountain State.
Through the collaborative effort, Cape Ann Mass in Motion and the Library were able to use existing program dollars to launch it and purchase the equipment. At this time, loans are only available for patrons at the Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library.
“Snowshoeing has long been a favorite pastime for many people on Cape Ann and we are proud to be able to offer this opportunity for residents to take part in it or even try it out for the first time,” Carroll said. “During these challenging times, being able to get outside and participate in safe, socially distanced activities can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Already, we’ve seen a huge interest in this loan program and look forward to hopefully expanding it more in the future.”
About Cape Ann Mass in Motion
Overseen by the City of Gloucester Health Department and funded by Mass in Motion and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Cape Ann Mass in Motion Coalition represents the communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea. Those involved in the coalition work to advance policy, systems, and environmental change as it relates to healthy food access and active living for all members of our community. For more information or to get involved in the coalition, contact Cape Ann Mass in Motion Grant Coordinator Jennifer Donnelly at [email protected].