MILLEDGEVILLE — Live Healthy Baldwin initiatives are making headway as local health advocates, city and county officials, and citizens have jumped on board to help Milledgeville-Baldwin County progress into becoming a model for the state in the fight of obesity.
As part of Live Healthy Baldwin’s goal to improve opportunities for physical activity, construction to the first half-mile start for the Fishing Creek Community Trail at Oconee River Greenway has kicked off and stretches to South Elbert Street at the edge of Georgia Military College property. In partnership with Oconee River Greenway, Live Healthy Baldwin received a $100,000 Department of Natural Resources Recreational Trails Program grant to complete phase one.
“We got construction going on and it will be completed by June 1, but we might actually be done before that,” said Dr. Jim Lidstone, Live Healthy Baldwin advocate and director of Georgia College’s Center for Health and Social Issues.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is currently working on plans to connect Baldwin County public schools through the Safe Routes to Schools (SRTS) project, which includes a 9.36 mile pedestrian and bicycle path traveling along Fishing Creek to the easternmost edge of the community to the Baldwin County Board of Education, Industrial Park and Recreation Complex on the west side of town.
“I think [GDOT] is on track to actually start construction in early 2014. They will start at the 441 bypass and go to Blandy Road. There will be sidewalks and bike lanes that connect various school buildings,” Lidstone said. “[Milledgeville-Baldwin County Economic Development Authority Executive Director] Matt Poyner has plans to do trails to Industrial Park, so that would tie in overall with the Fishing Creek Trail on that side of town.”
Work will begin at the end of March to create a community garden at the Collins P. Lee Center located in the Harrisburg neighborhood.