Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Fun Stuff

Ridge Road Trail Head
View from French Park driveway
Standing on the corner of Ridge and Section Roads this morning with Councilman Tom Muething, and Steve and Wes from Amberley's Public Works Dept, going over logistics for next Friday's We THRIVE! event, I couldn't help but grin. We were planning for an event that is going to be one of the culminating pieces of the improvements we've made to the Village with a grant from We THRIVE! and Hamilton County Public Health with the goal of improving our residents' access to nutritional foods, healthy lifestyles and exercise, and reduced use of tobacco. The particular project we were discussing is unique in that it involves a sharing of assets with the Cincinnati Park Board and Amberley.

You may have noticed the "We THRIVE!" sign by the side of Ridge Rd. about 100 feet north of Section. This sign indicates a project that is funded by Amberley's grant. In this case, it is a new trail in French Park, with the trail head located at the sign on Ridge Road. The trail will increase options for walkers and runners who currently use the existing Village Hall walking path and a sign will be placed on the west side of Ridge Rd., at the ball fields, informing users of increased opportunities for exercise. What's particularly exciting is that in order to reach the connecting piece of trail located within French Park proper, users must cross a yet-to-be-constructed bridge.

Two roads diverge...
Which brings me to this morning's meeting... The bridge itself will be constructed by a group of young Israeli Scouts and a group of inner-city teens from The Mayor's Summer Greanleaf Program. The teens will not only be literally building a bridge on June 22, but will also be, figuratively speaking, bridging the culture gap and forming connections with kids their age from different countries and backgrounds. Local Amberley businesses Topicz and PepsiCo are donating snacks and water for the teens, and a resident has donated pizza.  The actual bridge building will take place next Friday at 8:00 AM, but there will be a dedication and laying of the final plank, as well as a tree dedication and a Proclamation from the Mayor at 12:00 Noon. All residents are invited and encouraged to attend.

In the wake of budget cuts, belt-tightening, and a police levy, I could only smile and say "this is the fun stuff!"
A surprise awaits inside!

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