One Giant Way Local 7th Graders Make a Difference

Wild Trails mission “is to encourage and promote a healthy and active lifestyle through trail running and other forms of outdoor recreation and advocate to protect and preserve land (natural spaces) used for such activities.” One of the most important ways we do this is through education. There is no better way to educate than to have those who are educators on your side. Kim Bates, a middle school/high school health & p.e. teacher at Silverdale Baptist Academy used her service project to get 17 middle schoolers on the trail to help clean and do some maintenance work. While some of the kids’ parents are trail runners and have experienced the freedom the trails and outdoors offer, some of the children had never been involved in such an activity. Here’s Kim’s report in her own words:

Silverdale Baptist Academy has several community-service days each year. Each middle school homeroom teacher is given the opportunity to serve in an area that is close to his/her heart. As a trail runner and a lover of the outdoors, I so much appreciate all that Wild Trails does for our outdoor community! That is why I took my 7th grade homeroom students to do trail maintenance/clean-up on part of the Guild Trail on Ochs Highway.

Before the trip, we discussed the many benefits of spending time in the outdoors. An added bonus of the service project is that the few kids who haven’t spent much time on trails really loved it! One boy even commented, “You know, Mrs. Bates, you’re right…I do feel so much better after working out here!” Loved that!!

We worked on the trail Friday, Oct. 17 from 8:30 A.M – 11:00 A.M. There were 17 students plus a few adults.

We hope to be back on a local trail again next semester!

Thank you Kim! Thank you to the 17 children and other adults who gave up a part of your day to spend time on the trails. It’s been said many times: Children are the future. Here are 17 more who have experienced “the physical, emotional, and social benefits of trail[s]…and the role it can play in contributing to increased community health.” When people become invested in their environment, and share that love with those around them, we are guaranteeing that future generations will value the things that make Chattanooga and its surrounding wilderness areas so important and “will ensure that future generations will always stay here to live, work, and play. If you have a trail project that is close to your heart, or have a group that wants to help with trail maintenance, please contact us. We would love to work with you.

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