A group of Drake University faculty members created a one-mile path around campus called the Bulldog Mile in order to improve and maintain overall health and wellness.
The Bulldog Mile was created by a committee formed by Linda Feiden, a wellness and recognition specialist and a part of Drake’s human resources.
The decision to create the Bulldog Mile came after Drake received the 2020 Healthiest State Large Workplace Award from the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative in February. Feiden and the committee made the decision to use funds awarded from the recognition to create a one-mile path around the campus in the shape of the bulldog.
Feiden said the committee hopes the Bulldog Mile becomes a “focal point” for the Drake community.
“Walking is a great way to improve or maintain overall health and this one-mile path is the perfect vehicle to be more active while exploring Drake’s beautiful campus,” Feiden said.
There are signs posted around the campus as well as blue paw prints showing the route for those to follow.
Sophia Siegel, Sustainability Coordinator and Facilities Planning and Management committee member, assisted with the project. She believes the Bulldog Mile will benefit the community as a whole.
“I think it’s a good way for the Drake community members to meet up with one another and run into one another while walking the mile,” Siegel said.
Outside of Drake’s Olmsted Center, there is a map of the route, which is shaped like a bulldog, as well as information about the mile.
Rachel Roth, a sophomore, said she walked the mile after seeing someone post about it on social media. With the pandemic, many students have been inside for the majority of the semester. Roth said the mile has been great during COVID-19 because it’s possible to socially distance with someone while walking it.
“I think it’s a good thing for Drake to have the mile,” Roth said. “It gives us something to do when there isn’t much to do during this time.”
Camryn Huyser, a sophomore, said she liked that it was easy to find and thought the mile was great for students.
“I thought it was a really neat idea to get people outside and to see the Drake neighborhood,” Huyser said. “I wasn’t really sure exactly where it was or anything, but the paw prints make it pretty easy to find.”
Many students have enjoyed the mile; faculty and parents have also experienced the route.
Drake parent Drew Friedman said the mile was a “pleasant route” and it was great to see all of the campus.
“If you don’t feel like, or have no access to another calibrated outdoor walking path, it’s great that the mile is right there on campus,” Friedman said.
Feiden said the committee encourages everyone to take a break on Oct. 7 to walk the Bulldog Mile for this fall’s Healthiest State Walk.