Toledo group exercises in Historic Woodlawn Cemetery

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A group in Toledo is lacing up their shoes once a week, but it is where they are walking that is grabbing people's attention.

It is not your typical walk in the park by any means, but every Wednesday, the "Woodlawn Walkers" meet at the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo for a two-mile trek.

Val Brazeau has been a Woodlawn Walker since the group formed last year. She has been trying to get her friends to join.

"I think they might think it's a strange place to walk, but the beauty of a cemetery, it's just gorgeous, especially Woodlawn.  It's a treasure that Toledo has in an inner city that a lot of people don't know about," explained Brazeau.

Brazeau was able to convince her grade school friend Mary Ann Fasca to give it a shot. Now she is hooked too.

"I told my daughter that I joined a walking group and she said, 'Oh, that's really good.' And I said, 'It's at a cemetery.' And she said, 'Well, it's peaceful there,'" said Fasca.

Patty Toneff, director of community outreach for Woodlawn Cemetery, started the group for a couple reasons.

"For the public to realize the beautiful arboretum, as well as the history. Plus, I love to walk. So I thought it served a multitude of purposes," said Toneff.

Located in the cemetery are several small lakes, bridges and mausoleums for a few of Toledo's famous names in history.

"What I like most is walking amongst the, you know, the history of Toledo. When you see the Spitzers, the Stranahans or the Tiedtkes, you know they're part of Toledo. They made us what we are," said Brazeau.

Even though the walks are just once a week, it is an hour the Woodlawn Walkers really enjoy.

"It goes by quickly cause you see so much," said Brazeau.

Those interested in joining the Woodlawn Walkers can head to the cemetery every Wednesday morning at 9 through the month of October. The main entrance to the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery is at the corner of West Central and Auburn.

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