The Emmet County Board of Supervisors' decision Tuesday to approve a bid for a 790-foot walking trail between the Emmet County Annex building on South First Street is great for Estherville and Emmet County.
Board chair Bev Juhl spearheaded the idea - which the board heartily endorsed - to provide a safe pathway for clients to visit Emmet County Public Health and Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Inc. offices in the Annex.
Many clients don't have cars, and they've had to bravely walk on the highway - under the railroad underpass with no shoulder - to get to the Annex. And that's been a tragedy in the waiting.
The new walking trail will be a plus in a number of ways:
n First of all, it's safer. Clients will no longer have to face the danger of walking under the underpass.
n It's also healthier. The more chances people are given to have a walking alternative, the better the chances are that they'll take advantage of it.
n It's good for community development. The board is taking the money for the trail from the county's share of the Local Option Sales Tax slated for community development. And that's exactly what it is. Even as the Emmet County Wellness Coalition is planning a walkability study May 4 to see what barriers exist to pedestrians in Estherville and Armstrong, the supervisors are doing something about it. This new trail is a natural link between downtown and a greenspace recreational area the city envisions for the future.
Without a doubt, Annex clients won't be the only ones using the trail. It will be something the entire community can enjoy.
The trail was a wise decision on the supervisors' part. And they should be applauded.