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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2014:07:09 07:06:58

Greater Scranton YMCA staff members recently gathered at Hillside Park, located at the intersection of Winola Road and Grove Street in South Abington Township, in preparation for “Y Wellness Mondays,” a new weekly series cosponsored by the YMCA and Abington Area Joint Recreation Board that will be held each Monday from July 21 through Aug. 18 at 6 p.m., focusing on various health- and wellness-related themes. For more information, visit or left: Trish Fisher, chief executive officer; Diana Dempsey, aquatic director; and Paula Scotchlas, outreach program director.

It’s time to unplug your computer, turn off your cell phone and head over to Hillside Park, 1188 Winola Road, South Abington Township, for a new wellness initiative that organizers hope will encourage people to absorb the peace and tranquility that the natural world has to offer.

“Y Wellness Mondays” will be held weekly from Monday, July 21, through Aug. 18, at 6 p.m. at the pavilion by Eston Wilson Lake. Each week will focus on a different wellness-related theme and participation is free of charge. As Abington Area Joint Recreation Board (AAJRB) member Diane Vietz said, the venture is part of a new partnership with the Greater Scranton YMCA whose overall goal is to get people off the couch and outdoors.

“This wellness initiative highlights AAJRB’s commitment to the community as we stick to a theme of healthy living,” she said. “It’s a very positive thing to have a wellness initiative wrapped around the outdoors at a nearby park with recreational choices. Hillside Park is a space for our community to take action towards eating healthier and being more physically active with our playing fields, nature trails, boardwalk and the community garden.”

“Adding the YMCA to our foundation can engage more park users into a wellness lifestyle,” she added. “When you consider that the Y Wellness Mondays are free at this time, it’s an all-around winning proposition.”

For Trish Fisher, chief executive officer of the Greater Scranton YMCA, Y Wellness Mondays are a way to soak up the benefits of nature before another harsh northeast Pennsylvania winter sets in.

“Who doesn’t want to be outside in the summer,” she said. “Hillside Park is such a beautiful setting and it is conducive to healthy activities, such as meditation and yoga, but it also works for Zumba. It is a great opportunity for people to experience the wonderful outdoors on a summer night and it is perfect for families.”

A full schedule of Y Wellness Mondays is as follows:

• Monday, July 21: Mat Pilates

• Monday, July 28: Walking Yoga

• Monday, Aug. 4: Walking Yoga

• Monday, Aug. 11: Zumba

• Monday, Aug. 18: Mindfulness


Participants are asked to bring water bottles and mats.

Besides Y Wellness Mondays, the Greater Scranton YMCA is also offering boating classes at Hillside Park for the duration of the summer. For more information on the classes, call aquatic director Diana Dempsey at 570-342-8115 or email