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Work Finishes On Monterey’s Project Diabetes Walking Trail

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Work Finishes On Monterey’s Project Diabetes Walking Trail

Work on Monterey’s Project Diabetes Walking Trail is complete.

Kwill Consultants owner Dawn Kupferer said that the work will connect the community of Monterey.

“Study after study shows that connecting a community increases the value of homes in the community,” Kupferer said. “Also it improves the economy itself.”

Kupferer said that it also provides a safer way for kids to walk to and from school. The trail connects Burks Elementary and Monterey High School to the existing trail.

She said city officials are finishing up minor details, and that hopefully the trail will be open by the time school starts.

Kupferer said that the work has been some ten years in the making, and that in making the community more walkable it also makes it more livable. Funding for the trail was made available with a Connectivity Grant by the Tennessee Department of Health.

Kupferer said The Department of Health has been focusing on addressing the issue of diabetes in communities, especially childhood diabetes.

“When we started this project we determined that 24 percent of the children at the elementary school walk to school,” Kupferer said. “And we want them to walk in fun, safe conditions. Our goal and the state of Tennessee’s Department of Health’s goal is to get more children walking.”

Kupferer said the biggest issue they faced over the 10 year process was getting funding to build in a location of that nature because of the wetland area.

“One of the issues was ‘How do you get the school children a safe avenue when you have a wetland area,’” Kupferer said. “And no funding agencies would even touch this project because they were scared of the wetland project.”

Kupferer said that after working with city officials and TDEC, eventually they were able to get funding from the Department of Health.


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