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Groups tell citizens to take a walk

Business, civic and community leaders joined together Friday to unveil the new County Walking Trail the South Dallas Industrial Park on Alabama Highway 41. The trail is a project of Vaughan Community Health Services, Strategic Health Alliance, the Alabama Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and other private and public agencies. -- Tim Reeves

Despite the threat of heat early Friday morning, local dignitaries, businesses, civic organizations and young people came together to help make a healthier Dallas County through the unveiling of a new walking path.

Thanks to funding from the Centers for Disease Control and the Alabama Department of Public Health, in partnership with Vaughan Community Health Services, the South Dallas Industrial Park Pioneer Walking Path is another addition to existing trails throughout Dallas County.

Measuring ½ mile in length, Brenda Tuck of Alford & Associates, LLC said she is excited about such partnerships with Pioneer Electric and Rayco Industrial Inc. that helped make the trail aesthetically pleasing and properly maintained.

“We’re very excited to officially open our trail today,” Tuck said. “This is a positive on all fronts. We thank everyone.”

Pioneer Electric general manager Steve Harmon said the path is something everyone can enjoy.

“I like to thank ADPH for giving the grant, I’m proud of how we came together and adopted the maintenance (for the trail),” Harmon said. “I’m thrilled we’re able to cooperate and keep things nice.”

Dallas County probate Judge Kim Ballard said great things happen when people come together.

“Success happens when hard work gets mixed in with great ideas,” Ballard said. “That’s how we make things happen by working together, unselfishly. As a commission, we’re proud of the partnership.”

Kathi Needham of Strategic Alliance for Health said the idea behind the trails was to promote a healthy workforce.

“We’re really excited that this is available to this part of Dallas County,” Needham said. “We’re trying to make Dallas County walk-able. There are so many opportunities in Dallas County. It’s not just about losing weight or a New Year’s resolution … it’s about a healthy workforce, ready to go to work.”

And with walking trails located in Valley Creek, Bloch Park, Paul M. Grist State Park, Riverfront Park, Orrville and soon-to-be Selmont, Needham said her goal is to make walking trails available for everyone.

“We want to make sure every part of this community has a place to walk for free — free membership, well-lit (and) in a safe neighborhood,” Needham said. “Every ward will have a city walk.”

Members of the Wallace Community College-Selma baseball team also enjoyed a “first walk” on the trail.

“It’s good for the community,” said Wallace student David Strickland. “There’s no where else to walk around here, and it’s a good opportunity to come out, exercise and get something out of it.”
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