Muncie, IN — The East Central Indiana Regional Planning District, Inc. has partnered with Blackford Greenway to secure a grant from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to put towards developing a greenway in Hartford City.
The first phase of the greenway will be a two-mile trail connecting Hartford City to the Blackford County High School via Park Avenue. A portion of the greenway will be adjacent to a nature trail that passes through a wildlife habitat area containing deer, rabbits, foxes and a variety of birds.
This proposal will connect residential neighborhoods to the high school, the Blackford Soccer Complex, Blackford High School Athletic Complex, the YMCA, a retirement community, a grocery, a pharmacy, shopping, restaurants, the Blackford Baptist Academy, an existing wooded nature trail, sports fields, tennis courts, and is close by the Indiana University Blackford County Hospital.
“This is a great opportunity for Blackford County to improve quality of life, provide recreational opportunities and a safe way for kids to travel to and from school,” said Pamela Price, Project Manager for the Regional Planning District.
In the state of Indiana, Blackford County ranks in the top three counties for the following ratings: 33% obesity rate for adults, poorest health ratings, highest smoking rates and least access to recreational activities.
According to the County Health Rankings as gathered by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Blackford County ranks 89 of 92 counties in Indiana.
With the increased opportunity to walk and bike safely, the referenced statistics are sure to improve— thereby saving on health care costs and improving the lives of the residents.
Once this project is complete, Blackford Greenway will seek other trail opportunities within Blackford County to further enhance and connect the trail system.
Founded in September 2009, ECIRPD’s purpose is to serve the local governments of Blackford, Delaware, Grant and Jay counties by providing plans for economic development, leadership and professional services to maximize opportunities for growth and prosperity for all citizens of the district.
Written by Morgan Crouse
1208 White River Boulevard
Muncie, IN 47303