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Ground broken for walking trail in Bicentennial Park

DAILY LEADER / KATIE WILLIAMSON / The Healthy Hometown Committee breaks ground on the new walking trail at Bicentennial Park. Participating are (from left) Todd Peavey, physiotherapist/director with King's Daughters Medical Fitness Center; Lorie Carter, project director with Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition Lincoln/Copiah County; Debbie Smith, owner/instructor of Curves of Brookhaven; Randy Belcher, Ward One alderman; Joe Cox, mayor of Brookhaven; Karen Sullivan, alderman at large; Elizabeth Smith, with KDMC Performance Center; and Carolyn Reed, progam assistant at the Furlow Senior Center.

DAILY LEADER / KATIE WILLIAMSON / The Healthy Hometown Committee breaks ground on the new walking trail at Bicentennial Park. Participating are (from left) Todd Peavey, physiotherapist/director with King’s Daughters Medical Fitness Center; Lorie Carter, project director with Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition Lincoln/Copiah County; Debbie Smith, owner/instructor of Curves of Brookhaven; Randy Belcher, Ward One alderman; Joe Cox, mayor of Brookhaven; Karen Sullivan, alderman at large; Elizabeth Smith, with KDMC Performance Center; and Carolyn Reed, progam assistant at the Furlow Senior Center.

Brookhaven’s Healthy Hometown committee members ceremonially broke ground on the new walking trail at Bicentennial Park Thursday.

The new trail will wrap around the park in an eight-foot and quarter-mile loop. The path will include five exercise stations and clear views of the playground so parents can monitor their children while walking.

“We only have one trail in City Park, so as long as there are funds available, why not make it more accessible to people in this neighborhood,” said Karen Sullivan, committee member and alderman at large.

Last year, Brookhaven was awarded $25,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation for its effort in becoming a healthier hometown. As the overseers for the money, The Healthy Hometown committee voted to incorporate a new walking trail in Main Street park.

“It’s really time for cities to step up in promoting health and wellness in communities,” said Sullivan.

The committee was founded last year by a group of like-minded citizens from diverse health backgrounds. Their goal is to continue in the efforts to make the city fit the description of healthy hometown

Elizabeth Smith, with King’s Daughters Medical Center Performance Center, explained the committee will be working more to educate the community by having information about healthy lifestyles available at health fairs, the farmers market and other community events.

“Changes in diet, exercise and habits can build a stronger and healthier overall community,” said Smith.

Sullivan said people and organizations have already been working toward promoting health in Brookhaven; the committee is a way to bring all these efforts together. She added that it was because of their improvements over the years, the committee was able to receive the grant.

The committee is already discussing future park enhancements.