City, community leaders break ground on walking trail

Published 11:40 pm Monday, May 21, 2012

City and community leaders came together Friday evening to break ground on the new walking trail near Cedar Park Elementary. Pictured above are: (from left) Ottis Black, Loretta Wimberly, Ward 2 Selma City Councilperson Susan Keith, Jackie Black, Selma Mayor George Evans, Selma City Council President Cecil Williamson, Ward 4 Selma City Councilmember Angela Benjamin, Benjamin’s son Kamau Little, Bender Lee and Ward 3 Selma City Councilmember Greg Bjelke. -- Ashley Johnson

Inspired by national health initiatives Lets Move! and Playful City USA, the Selma City Council broke ground on a new walking path in Ward 4 near Cedar Park.

Friday, councilwoman Angela Benjamin watched as one of her ideas became a reality. Benjamin said this project, which also includes a playground in east Ward 4, incorporates these national initiatives that combine play and exercise and ties them back into Ward 4.

“I’ve seen kids out here in Ward 4 kicking around a can for fun because they don’t have access to a playground,” Benjamin said.

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The construction of the walking path, which began last week, is located in the grass lot next to the baseball field at Cedar Park Elementary School on Woodrow Avenue. The path will be constructed of crush and run gravel material and is expected to be finished in the coming week. City officials hope to eventually put in benches and a gazebo in the walking path area.

“This is another outlet where people go and exercise and also where families can come together for picnics,” Selma Mayor George Evans said.

The funding for the project was made possible by a grant from the Strategic Alliance for Health. Evans said he worked to put the plan in action, once Benjamin had the idea started.

“I would love to see more of these walking paths,” Evans said. “We could put at least one in every ward, if not two. This will provide a much safer place for people to walk and exercise than the sidewalks in the area.”

Benjamin said she wants this new structure to help residents get healthy, shape-up and in turn make a happier and healthier Selma.

“We are an obese nation and statistics tell us that, so maybe if we put play and exercise together we could be healthier,” Benjamin said.