What is better than a springtime walk in a woodland; gazing at the blooms of the redbuds and virginia bluebells and listening to the songs of the spring peepers? Having a Grove Trotter or two for company, that’s what! The creative name for our Long Grove walking group is courtesy of resident Renee Clark, who first organized a number of ladies under this name to participate in a breast cancer walk in Chicago over a decade ago. That group disbanded, but several years later reorganized with the help of the Neighbors and Newcomers Club to form a weekly walking group to explore the many forest preserve trails and neighborhood pathways in and around Long Grove. Our group is informal, fluid, and members join in as they are able. We are fortunate to have some great local places to get out and enjoy nature, but as women, we all know that there is safety in numbers. Plus, it makes us less likely to skip the exercise if we know a buddy is waiting to also hit the trail. And of course, there is the gossip…I mean, lively conversation to make the time pass more quickly! My first experience speaking up at a Village Board meeting was due to the Grove Trotters. Several of our members came to a meeting to ask the Trustees to allocate funds to help pave and extend a walking path on south Schaeffer Road. And it worked! The Village supported that path improvement almost 10 years ago, and this summer we are using grant funds to connect the Schaeffer Road trail to the Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve. I’m looking forward to exploring this new pathway in the fall with my Grove Trotter friends. This spring we are working on our daily 10,000 steps in Heron Creek Forest Preserve, Stillman Nature Preserve, Reed-Turner Woodland, and several neighborhood paths in Long Grove. If you would like to join the Grove Trotters for a walk, contact me via email and I will let you know the time and meeting place for our next outing. Get moving, enjoy the woodland wildflowers, and you might meet a new neighbor in the process!