KY Small Towns Find Ways to Increase Walkability
Friday, March 10, 2023
Whitesburg residents have put the finishing touches on a walking trail aimed at increasing outdoor exercise among residents and linking local businesses.
Four benches were added along the three mile path that runs through the city's downtown, known as Tanglewood Trail.
Appalshop Community Development Director Annie Jane Cotton said the AARP Community Challenge grant used to fund the project offered an exciting opportunity to increase health and wellness for the region's older citizens.
"We have an aging population that needed more access to outdoor recreation opportunities," said Cotton, "as well as providing a network of businesses and access for citizens who potentially don't have cars."
Across the state, AARP Community Challenge grants have helped improve open spaces. The program is open to nonprofits and governments, and grants can range from several hundred dollars to tens of thousands for larger projects.
This year's deadline to apply is March 15. Visit 'aarp.org/communitychallenge' for more information.
Cotton said the project speaks to the potential of combining art, recreation and healthy food access as key components of a livable community.
"When we integrate art and community health opportunities, and community access to fresh and local foods," said Cotton, "we're not only fueling our local economy, we're also raising our community health status."
Matching funds raised by local businesses and individual donors will be put toward expanding the trail to the top of Pine Mountain, where it will join the 800 mile Great Eastern Trail.
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