Health benefits

Paragould Seeks Connectivity and Health Benefits at the End of the Trail | Arkansas Business News

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Well-being and fitness
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In the summer of 2021, the City of Paragould inaugurated the Complete 8 Mile Creek Trail System with the goal of improving alternative transportation in the city and improving the health and well-being of citizens.

Population: 28 568
Mayor: Josh Agee
county: Greene
Region: Northeast

In 2016, the Green County Future Fund began working with a grant writer and the City of Paragould on initiatives that could improve the quality of life in the county. These efforts have generated nearly $ 1 million over three grant cycles to provide this convenience to citizens of Paragould and surrounding communities.

The trail consists of three phases and will run for approximately four miles one way, starting near the Rotary Softball Park, following 8 Mile Creek, and ending at Highway 412 East. General plans for the trail include its connection to all city parks, school systems, and several retail areas, as well as a proposed future connection to Crowley’s Ridge State Park, located a few miles from the boundaries. from the city.

Located on the former site of pioneer Benjamin Crowley, the park contains many examples of the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. One of Arkansas’ most popular state parks, it is crossed by Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Drive.

The site became a state park in 1933 in an effort to honor Crowley and the heritage of the Crowley’s Ridge area.

By connecting several areas of Paragould to the trail network, the city offers an alternative form of transportation to many city residents. Paragould does not have public transportation, which allows citizens to move around the city on foot or by bicycle safely, to work and school.

Not only does the trail provide safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists, it also promotes health and well-being in the community.

The 2020 Arkansas Methodist Hospital Community Health Assessment, the local hospital in Paragould, ranked obesity, healthy eating and active living among the most important priorities identified at its Community Health Summit .

A multigenerational trail, 8 Mile Creek will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Paragould.

The main purpose of the trail is connectivity. Urban biking, hiking and walking trails are a vital addition to the existing park system, and Paragould uses the creek that crosses the city limits as an additional trail component.

The trail is funded by TAP grants from the Arkansas Department of Transportation and a financial commitment from the city. TAP grants are available to any community and any other community can replicate the funding and project plan.

The town’s name is a combination of the surnames of railroad magnates JW Paramore and Jay Gould, whose competing lines crossed in the area in 1882.

There is a high level of community membership with the 8 Mile Creek Trail. A local nonprofit, the Greene County Future Fund, has raised funds for years to help the city pay the grant writing fees to make the trail a fundraising opportunity.

Leadership Paragould alumni are currently raising funds to help the city set up an outdoor exercise facility along the trail. With help from the Arkansas Department of Transportation and local nonprofits, the group was able to secure funding to make the project a reality.

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