Changing Perspective to keep an Atlanta Tradition Alive
By Rebecca Gilbert, CNC Member
August 17, 2020
I wouldn’t call myself a runner. But I am of that age, where I have to do stuff purposefully in order to stay healthy. My usual had been to run a 10K a year (yeah, it’s the Peachtree) and just stay fairly active enough where it wouldn’t hurt when I had to do it. This year, I’ve had a little bit different of an approach to running. I’ve had more time to actually be active and do things including running a 5K at the Roswell Riverwalk pretty much once a week and then walking a 5K on the other days. It’s been a great way to get outside and I feel healthier than I have in a long time.
I, like many people, was looking forward to test out my new “love” of running at the ‘Possum Trot and then the Peachtree. Well, with most events these days, things sure have changed. I didn’t run the Peachtree on July 4th, BUT the ‘Possum Trot has been moved to a virtual race on August 29th.
The ‘Possum Trot is the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s (CNC’s) longest running special event and historically a critical one for this local non-profit. I have heard that back in the early days of CNC, the race was a way to help the fledgling organization make payroll!
Just like everyone else, CNC has experienced a dramatic change in their way of life since mid-March. An organization that is known for providing exceptional engagement with the community has been hit extremely hard. The 127-acres were closed for several months to visitors, in-person environmental education school experiences became non-existent, community-based programs were halted, and planned special events were canceled. Needless to say, this has all caused a dramatic decline in income. But the staff of CNC did what they have done every year since it has been in existence, it pivoted.
CNC knew it had to figure out how to function in this new reality we are all living in. They held mobile blood drives, provided virtual learning experiences for teachers and students, started virtual trading in the Nature Exchange, had on-line plant and birdseed sales with contactless pick-up, and they intensified efforts to provide fresh produce to the food insecure through their partnership with North Fulton Community Charities. And they realized that they could in fact still have road races – just do it virtually instead! I am planning on supporting CNC by virtually running the ‘Possum Trot on August 29th because the Nature Center has been giving to the Roswell community (and beyond) for over 40 years and especially these last few months. This is a time when they really need the community to step in and lend a hand.
While I won’t get to be a part of the typical race day fun that most people experience at road races, I know that I can try to shave a few seconds off my time now that I am a wee bit healthier (thanks social distancing.) I hope you’ll join me (and my non-runner self) wherever you may be on August 29th and register to be a participant in the first ever Virtual ‘Possum Trot because CNC needs your support right now.