A Faire for fitness
By Sue Ellen Ross Post-Tribune correspondent October 9, 2012 4:00PM
The Calumet College of St. Joseph Rowing Club gives a demonstration as part of the Active Living Faire at Wolf Lake in Hammond, Ind., on Sept. 29, 2012 . | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
The Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative is a bistate not-for-profit group and land trust that seeks to protect and improve Wolf Lake and its natural surroundings. For more information, call Michael Boos at 933-7149 or visit the website www.wolflakeinitiative.org.
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:08AM
Tony Salgado of Hammond became interested in competitive rowing after watching a movie on the sport, so he joined the new Rowing Club at Calumet College of St. Joseph, where he is a sophomore.
Salgado and other club members showed what it takes to man a boat during the recent Active Living Faire at Wolf Lake Park in Hammond. The event, sponsored by the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative, promoted fitness and proper nutrition.
“There is a lot to learn, it does take time, and there’s a lot of teamwork involved,” Salgado said, “but it’s really a lot of fun.”
Many visitors sat in the boat, which was anchored not too far from shore, and took the oars as they listened to rowing professional Dan Mazer of Munster.
“I’ve never been on a boat before, so this is a little scary,” said Jennifer Martinez, 13, of Hammond, as she waited to take her seat and slip into the “shoes” at her station. “But I’m OK. I like to try new things.”
The annual Faire begins on the Hammond side of Wolf Lake in the morning, then moves to the Illinois side in the afternoon.
On the Hammond side, the morning included three programs and a farmers’ market, in addition to the rowing.
Chris Esparza of the Lake Area United Way coordinates the group’s regional volunteer center. She talked about gardening.
“Whether it’s gardening in your backyard or joining others in community gardening, the effort increases one’s personal health, while producing vegetables and fruit for the dinner table,” Esparza said. “Right now, in the area, we have seniors teaching youth about gardening, and another group is starting a co-op of growers who will market their produce to restaurants.
“Still others, like the Cargill Green Team, are growing food to donate to food banks.”
Other programs focused on healthy specialty foods and fish consumption, free health screenings and educational displays.
After observing or taking part in the activities, some children returned to the Educational Environmental Center to draw posters depicting what they saw along Wolf Lake. Contest winners were Taylor Gilbert, a seventh-grader at Brunswick Elementary School in Gary, and Brian Acevedo, a third-grader at Edison School in Hammond.
Jennifer Martinez, a sixth-grader from Scott Middle School in Hammond, and Marta Frank, a fifth-grader from East Chicago, placed second.