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Lenox Walking Trail gets boost in funding with $100,000 Wellmark grant

The first two segments of the walking train extension in Lenox are on track to be completed next summer. These segments include sidewalk/walking trail from the intersection of Locust and Iowa Street to Van Buren Street with a spur over to the newly-renovated tennis court area on Illinois Street.
The projected cost of these segments/phases is $249,976. All but $32,720 has been raised. The project received a $100,000 grant from Wellmark Healthy Hometown program last week and, along with grants from Taylor County Endowment Foundation, Lenox Community Trust, and several other small matching grants pending, Phase I and II will move forward. All other funds raised to date are from local businesses and generous individuals.
All donations are tax exempt and can be dropped off at City Hall. Donations (checks) should be made out to the City of Lenox with a notation indicating it is for the walking trail.
Initially, the committee hoped to complete Phase I and II this summer but the engineers strongly recommended waiting until winter to let bids, believing the costs would be less at that time; therefore, bids will be taken this winter and construction will begin next spring with a completion date of September 1, 2023. The plan is to then proceed to Phase III which will continue the walking trail north on Lake Shore Drive to the golf course, fishing lakes, campgrounds, and shooting range.
“We continue to seek grants and financial commitments from the community to provide a safe walking environment and encourage Lenox citizens to have an active, healthy lifestyle,” said Jo Adams, Lenox Walking Trail Extension Committee chairperson.
In a 2020 Iowa Department of Health report, the “County Health Rankings and Roadmaps,” Taylor County ranks 68 out of Iowa’s 99 counties in terms of ‘health behaviors.’ The report shows that 64^% of people have access to exercise opportunities, compared to 83% statewide.

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