For this reason, local community health boards have purchased 50 sets of snowshoes to be used in communities across Cumberland County.
“This winter, sometimes you need them just to get to your car,” joked Colleen Dowe, community health board coordinator. “We’ve been hit so hard and people have not been able to be active.”
The snowshoes, purchased through a generous arrangement with Dayle’s Department Store, are equipped with a small claw on the bottom to make them more effective on icy surfaces. They range in size from a size-4 girls’ shoe, up to being large enough to fit a 200-pound man.
“It’s just to get people out in this weather,” said Dowe, pointing to the high snow banks. “This is a big excuse for people not to go outside.”
The health boards are distributing the snowshoes amongst several communities. Amherst will add more to the snowshoes they already have available for lending at the stadium and at the library. Oxford will have seven pairs available at town hall, while Springhill and Parrsboro will add more to their available collections.
In Advocate and River Hebert, the local libraries will have several pairs available, and the Cumberland County municipal office in Nappan will also have three pairs. Pugwash will also have five pairs, but the location has yet to be confirmed.
Several pairs were available for pickup at the Amherst Stadium on Monday afternoon, where Oxford town councillor Barry Patriquin was among those on hand.
“I’m excited and thankful to the health board for giving us seven sets of snowshoes,” he said. “It’s just another way to promote a healthy, active lifestyle. It looks like a fun thing, and I trust people will use them in town. Maybe it will get the youth out and about too.”