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Have You Ever Thought?... About joining your friends and neighbors for Everybody Walks
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Last Wednesday was to be the ribbon cutting for the start of the Rail Trail that will reach from Covington to Newborn.  But the weather dictated otherwise.  This great milestone of progress has been rescheduled to be a part of the final walk of the spring.  The fourth walk of the spring will now come on the first Wednesday of May, May 3.  Join us that evening for the ribbon cutting at the trail head on Elm Street.  It is all a part of “Everybody Walks Newton.”

Following the ribbon cutting, Justin Kunes, MD, and Renee Riley, MD, from Piedmont Newton Hospital will briefly speak to some of the benefits of walking and lead us on the two-mile trail walk.

What a great milestone of progress to mark the end of Every Body Walk Newton for 2017.   This celebrates the starting of the paving of the Rail Trail that will reach from Covington to Newborn.  The first half mile of paved rail trail, from Elm Street to Floyd Street was completed in early March.  Another 855 feet has been completed from Floyd Street to Conyers Street.  There is a current $12,500 challenge grant that we will need about $2000 to match, I am told that every level of donation is appreciated.  Those giving a $1,000 or more will be recognized with an inscribed   granite marker at the Elm Street trailhead.

Everybody Walk Newton events are opportunities to see friends, meet more of your neighbors, and enjoy the trails that dot our area.   This year is a year of milestones as great progress is being made in the effort to strengthen our trails systems and get people out and walking.

Piedmont Healthcare is this year’s platinum sponsor.   This includes the four Everybody Walks as well as others later in the year.  Becky Needham, a staff member at Piedmont Healthcare said “Piedmont Newton encourages better health of all citizens in the community.”  She added “Taking time to walk on a regular basis has been proven to promote good health.”  As a part of their sponsorship. 

All of the walks start at 6:00 p.m.  Attend three of the four walks to earn a T shirt..  This coming Wednesday the walk will be the Yellow River Park in Porterdale.  This is a milestone as we celebrate the passing of the SPLOST last month.  Sara Vinson, chair of the Newton Trails Board said, “The SPLOST will fund many projects that will benefit our community and one of those is the Yellow River Trail that will connect Porterdale and Covington.”   At this week’s walk, Poterdale Mayor Arline Chapman and Chamber President Ralph Staffins will discuss the economic benefits of trails and recreation to a community.

The trail that will be built with the SPLOST funds will run along the Yellow River past the Career Academy and Porter Hall crossing the river twice.  It is to connect with the trail at Turkey Creek to the Tuner Lake Complex.   The long range goal is that this trail will reach west to the Rockdale Horse Park.  But for now we celebrate the 3.8 connection between Covington and Porterdale that the SPLOST vote made possible to go forward with.

The following Wednesday, April 19th the walk will be on the well-established Eastside Trail.  It was host to the Community Bike Ride on April 2, thus showing the variety of uses of a trail.  This trails shows what is possible for our trails.

The spotlight for this walk will be led by the incoming President of the East Metro Board of Realtors President Kirby Stubbs Henderson.  She will be sharing about how trails increase property values in communities.

This year’s third spring walk on April 26th will start at the Turner Lake Complex in the parking lot of the in front of the Recreation Center and continue to the rail trail on Clark Street.  Our new County Commission Chair Marcello Banes will speak on how trails bring the community together to build and strengthen relationships.   This is a milestone as we begin to see our community being tied together.

Help us spread the word of the change in the schedule that was caused by weather.  We are still planning four walks.

Every Body Walk Newton is a part of the national Every Body Walk campaign.  The goal of both the local and national campaign is to get people out and moving as they walk and talk together.  Locally one aim is to inform those who come to walk about Newton Trials and to build support of the new 14.9 rail trail development between Covington and Newborn.  The eventual dream is a connected system of trails in Newton County.    You will find an information table at each of the three remaining walks.  Board members will be present to answer your question.