Newton, NC – With warm weather approaching, the Catawba County Library is partnering with the NC Cooperative Extension and Catawba County Parks to create seasonal programs that promote fitness and well-being.

The first program, Center & Venture, combines tai chi and hiking in local parks, offering participants a half-hour of gentle, intentional stretches and exercises followed by an hour-long hike at a comfortable pace, while observing recommended social distancing guidelines. Dr. George Place, director of the Cooperative Extension and a certified personal trainer, will lead each outing, guiding the tai chi movements before accompanying folks on the hiking trails.

Center & Venture sessions will alternate between Saturday mornings and Tuesday afternoons and will also shift between Riverbend Park (6700 NC Hwy 16, Conover) and Bakers Mountain Park (6680 Bakers Mountain Rd, Hickory). The outdoor excursions are suitable for all fitness levels.

The next Center & Venture outing will take place from 3 pm till 4:30 pm on Tuesday, March 9 at Riverbend Park. To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/ccls-CenterVenture-reg or call 828.465.8665.

Complete schedules for Center & Venture’s twice-monthly excursions are available on the Extension’s website (https://catawba.ces.ncsu.edu/catawba-county-healthyliving-program/) and on the library’s online events calendar (www.catawbacountync.gov/library).

The second program the Cooperative Extension and the Catawba County Library are collaborating on is a four-part virtual series called Healthy, Happy & Wise that runs from March through June.

The first class meets at 5:30 pm on Thursday, March 11, and will focus on improving fitness. Dr. George Place will facilitate, sharing a variety of ways for participants to look after their physical health. He’ll talk about protecting joints, increasing flexibility, improving cardiovascular health, and building strength. To attend this virtual presentation, visit https://tinyurl.com/ccls-HealthyHappyWise-reg or call 828.465.8665.

Subsequent Healthy, Happy & Wise classes will focus on diet and nutrition (Thursday, April 8), high-quality sleep (Thursday, May 13), and the science of happiness (Thursday, June 17).

For more details about library services and resources, visit www.catawbacountync.gov/library, call 828.465.8664, email mylibrary@catawbacountync.gov, or visit www.facebook.com/catawbacountylibrarysystem.