Keeping Up with Dawn and John Clark
Participating in some form of physical activity every day can positively affect mental and physical health. John and Dawn Clark, residents of Emerald Heights, are advocates for exercise and lead by example.
The Clarks have been married for 65 years and spent much of their lives together going on adventures, exploring the outdoors, and living an active lifestyle. Physical activity has always been important to them, so they wanted to make sure they could stay active at Emerald Heights.
What is life like at Emerald Heights?
John and Dawn moved from Wenatchee, WA, to Emerald Heights in 2013. Emerald Heights was the perfect fit for the Clarks because of the beautiful scenery and the abundance of hiking trails nearby. Now at ages 87 and 88, John and Dawn walk at least five miles a day!
They’ve walked on many of Redmond’s paths and hike the Emerald Heights Nature Trail multiple times a week. The nature trail is a one-mile plus walk through the forest circling the 38-acre campus.
John was a member of the EH Trail Committee for eight years, which maintains and cares for the nature trail. Maintenance includes raking the leaves, clearing the path, weed control, trimming overgrowth, replacing logs, and building additions to the trail.
The Clarks also find unique ways to get their steps in by walking to local grocery stores instead of driving and finding the longest route to their destination.
“When you are committed to walking the way we are, you make the most of every walkable opportunity,” says Dawn Clark. “We live in the Cottage Housing, which enables us to walk to the main building of Emerald Heights, and we always choose the longer route. Even if we have to drive somewhere, we park at the end of the lot so that we can get a good walk in.”
In addition to their walking, the Clarks also take weightlifting classes at Emerald Heights fitness center three times a week. Due to COVID-19, many of the exercise classes the Clarks participated in were put on hold, but now activities are starting to resume. Class sizes are smaller to help with social distancing, and all activities take proper precautions to keep residents safe.
As activities begin again, the Clarks have returned to their volunteer positions and participate in the community. The Clarks are avid readers, so Dawn volunteers in the library and participates in a book discussion group. She also serves in the Emerald Market. John served four years on the board of Emerald Heights.
What advice do residents have for those who are interested in Emerald Heights?
The Clarks advise new residents to try the activities offered at Emerald Heights and take walks around the community. There are so many different groups to be a part of. Even if you try something and don’t love it, there is no shame in finding something else that is a better fit.
“You can be as busy as you want to be at Emerald Heights,” Dawn adds. “It is so easy to join groups and committees. Emerald Heights is full of welcoming, caring, and friendly people who will make you feel very much a part of the community.”
To learn more about community involvement opportunities and the hiking trails on campus, visit emeraldheights.com/lifestyle.