Monday, April 26, 2010

Healthy Communities of Henry County

The best years of my life were with Healthy Communities!

We built the F.U.N. playground with the help of 2,000 volunteers.

Young and old - people from all walks of life and ability came together to construct this awesome playground in our public park in central New Castle.

I remember one girl, when we first opened the playground, gazing around in awe.

She told me in a hush - "I didn't know we kids in New Castle deserved something like this."

We led hundreds of kids every October on Walk to School day.

That one day of the year - accompanied by principals, parents, dogs and friends - the kids of New Castle would all walk to school together.

We planted trees with school kids every spring.

We helped with river clean-ups.

And we dreamed of bike trails.

What a difference a series of walking and biking trails could make to our community!

When we look at a map of square Henry County, we see abandoned railway corridors radiating from the center like the spokes of a bicycle.

The bike must have a flat tire because the bottom shows a flat east-west track along the old National Road.

A spoke going north-east could connect our county seat, New Castle, with the Cardinal Greenway leading to Muncie.

We could even have a river corridor along the Big Blue River starting at our YMCA.

I remember when I first joined this group there were only five members.

Thirteen years later you can see what we have accomplished.

A few years ago I had to leave Healthy Communities

I needed time with my family so my kids wouldn't be strangers when they left for college.

But the dreams and activities continue at Healthy Communities.

Their annual meeting Friday attracted nearly 60 people.

Last year they planted 700 trees.
They cleaned up the years of wear on the F.U.N. playground, now 10 years old.

And they opened the first of many trails.

They celebrated the benefit each trail brings to the people who live nearby.

One man attributes the Cardinal Greenway with saving his life.

A trail can help new businesses including the kid with the local lemonade stand.

The trails give people a great way to get exercise out in the fresh air.... socialize enjoy life

Healthy Communities of Henry County is a wonderful group.

Join them and help make our little corner of this world a better place.
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