City dedicates walking trail

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 17, 2006

Tammy Leytham

The Selma Times-Journal

City officials came out Thursday afternoon to dedicate the new Valley Creek walking trail, located at Bloch Park.

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The walking trail includes health stations, which were provided by Vaughan Community Health Services, and space for soccer, football practices and other activities.

Officials said a cooperative effort is responsible for the completion of the trail.

“My hope is that we continue to build on this kind of energy – this kind of synergy,” Mayor James Perkins Jr. told those in attendance.

“This issue of health and wellness is one that’s real high on my radar screen,” he said. Since public officials can’t keep ahead of the illnesses affecting local residents, Perkins said they decided to focus on the issue of prevention and wellness. “So we have walking trails and basketball courts – things where we can get our people back outdoors.”

He mentioned several other recreational projects underway – including revamping some basketball courts – and some in the planning stages – including work on sidewalks.

Coach Elton Reece, director of the recreation department, said they are very proud of the Valley Creek walking trail project.

“You come out here in the morning, there are people walking,” he said. “In the afternoons, this place is really used.”

He expressed the city’s motto of “Building our Community one project at a time.”

“This is just one,” he said.

Like the mayor, Reece pointed out the cooperative effort between several entities, including the city and the county. The county helped with grading the walking path. The City of Selma Tree Commission planted several trees around the trail. Alabama Power put up 17 light poles to help provide a safe walking environment at night, Reece said.

“It’s not worth a dime unless people use it,” he said.

Kim Cogle of Vaughan Community Health Services also spoke during the dedication.

“We want Dallas County to be a healthier place to work, live and play,” Cogle said. “We were so pleased that our city leadership was stepping up and taking a proactive role in health.” Each of the health stations placed around the track by Vaughan provide a workout exercise for walkers.

Cogle reiterated the company’s motto of “Think Well. Live Well. Be Well.”

Dallas County Sheriff Harris Huffman also acknowledged the cooperative spirit of the project. “It’s great to see something that the city and county can agree on,” he said. “This is a great park … My hat’s off to the city and the county for getting this going.”

The walking trail dedication began with a prayer by the Rev. Joe Knight. Doris Moultrie read scripture.

Councilwoman Jean Martin, who represents Ward 3 where the trail is located, also spoke, as well as David Painter, the city engineer, and Carol Henry of the city of Selma Tree Commission.

Perkins said that a dedication and prayer will be held for all parks and recreational facilities opened by the city of Selma. “We will have a prayer for the safe usage by our citizens,” he said. “This is a blessing to us … To God be the glory.”