On May 4, the Biser Memorial Trail was rededicated at the rec park. New additions to the mile-long trail include distance markers to help trail users measure their distance. The trail circles the entirety of the rec park, it takes you past basketball courts, the football field, and the dog park. The trail also boasts several fitness stations to help increases the diversity of a workout for people who use the trail for this purpose.

The trail is the namesake of Christopher and Kyle Biser who passed away in 1985. Christopher grew up in Gettysburg and graduated from Gettysburg High School. As an adult he resided in Huntington Beach, Calif. Chris completed a real estate/broker degree at Fullerton Junior College in California and was a licensed Realtor with McVay Real Estate Agency in Huntington Beach. He was an avid motor cross rider and belonged to the American Motor Cross Association. Kyle grew up in Gettysburg and as an adult resided in Santa Ana, Calif. He attended Chowan College, N.C., and Frostburg University. Kyle received an associate arts degree in education from Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, Calif. He intended to pursue a degree in podiatric medicine at UCLA. Kyle was previously employed at Aztech Corporation and McDonald-Douglas Aircraft Corp at Long Beach.

The Biser Trail, which was first opened in the late 1980s, is used by upwards of 10,000 people a year. It has seen many improvements and expansions over the years, and May 4 was another addition to the trail’s history. It is the hope of the GARA Board and the Biser family that the trail will continue to be used for generations to come, and that the memory of these sons of Gettysburg is always at the forefront of the user’s mind.

Contemporary lifestyles are very busy, and there is a greater need for intentional time-outs to be mindful. Studies of mindfulness workshops, held for both mentally healthy and clinically depressed individuals, show the benefits of walking to include: improved mood, cognitive function and immune response. Walking in natural settings offer sensory inputs that are mentally restorative and can foster ideation. In a study of creative professionals, nature experiences enhanced creativity by evoking new ways of thinking, promoting curiosity and encouraging more flexible thinking. A nature recharge may support creativity, as the restored mind is better at analyzing and developing ideas.

The GARA Board is incredibly grateful to the Biser family for their continued support and encouragement, not just for the trail itself, but for the entirety of the rec park. Marty Rubin once said, “Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city.” I believe the Biser Fitness Trail is a perfect example of these words coming to fruition. Come down to the rec park today and take advantage of this trail and all the other amenities the rec park has to offer.

Jackie Dwyer is the executive director of the Gettysburg Area Recreation Authority.

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