Mill Creek aids those with mobility challenges

Mill Creek Park hosted an event to encourage those with mobility challenges to walk the East Golf Hike Bike Trail on Aug. 31.

Dr. Nicole Mullins created the “Let’s Move! A Walk for Those with Mobility Challenges“ event for those who may have any troubles walking. Mullins, a doctor of exercise science at Youngstown State University, brought her students to help encourage people to walk the trail and live healthy lifestyles.

“Even if it hurts, it’s better to move,“ she said. She brought papers to pass out with research information on it. She explained that walking and moving will help both physically and emotionally, as exercise positively affects moods.

Mullins own bilateral hip dysplasia injury inspired her to make an event to help people with other movement challenges. She had trouble moving but needed to work to get herself back into walking shape. During this time, she could only walk a little and used walking poles to take pressure off her pain points.

She also found another program called “Walk with a Doc,“ set up for those with movement challenges to walk and also have someone present to answer their questions. While not doctors, Mullins and her students have information on exercise and health to help others.

Carol Vigorito, the Recreation and Education Director of Mill Creek Metroparks, discussed how the program first got started. She said that Mullins had contacted Mill Creek through email asking to create the event. Vigorito said that the parks were happy to collaborate on this fantastic opportunity.

Mullins does not expect everyone to go the same amount because everyone has different abilities and health. Instead, she asks that everyone puts forth effort and walks as much as they want. The walkers should create their own goals after seeing what their current abilities are.

The group welcomes anyone who wants to walk to join. She explained that a walker in the past had worried about feeling silly about getting out and walking, so Mullins puts forth effort to help alleviate that worry. Her students help anyone on a walk and placed encouraging messages along the trail.

More information on the group and the event can be found at Mill Creek Park’s event page at The group welcomes anyone no matter the mobility need, stating that walkers may use canes, walking poles or other equipment.

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