Last updated: February 17. 2014 9:19AM - 767 Views
Christina Day cday@civitasmedia.com

The Lansing Creeper Trail Park expansion project is set to benefit from a CDC Community Transformation Grant.
The Lansing Creeper Trail Park expansion project is set to benefit from a CDC Community Transformation Grant.
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The Lansing Creeper Trail Park expansion is set to receive assistance in getting the project underway from the N.C. Community Transformation Grant Project (CTG).

Representatives from nonprofit Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD), the town of Lansing and the Appalachian District Health Department, who is the fiscal manager for CTG in the region, met Tuesday to discuss incorporating health considerations into the Lansing Park plan.

“CTG is a federally funded grant, through the Center for Disease Control, which focuses on four strategic areas: tobacco-free living, healthy eating, active living and clinical preventative services,” Rachel Miller, the healthy eating and active living lead with the health department said.

She said while most of the work the CTG is doing with the Lansing Park will focus on the “active living” component, planned elements such as community garden beds would fit in with the “healthy eating” initiative.

“[Community gardens] could be a source for Lansing residents to get a few items of local healthy foods,” Miller said. “This is also a great opportunity for kids to get involved and learn about how fresh fruits and vegetables are grown.”

Through the Community Transformation Grant, the Lansing Park will receive technical assistance from Boone-based planning and landscape architecture firm Destination by Design.

Teresa Buckwalter, principal at Destination by Design, presented a budget for the design and permitting work the firm is proposing to do for the park to the Lansing Board of Alderman at their monthly meeting on Feb. 10.

“We’re proposing, to help move the project along, creating a set of architectural renderings and a visual park plan to help with fundraising,” Buckwalter said.

The visual renderings would include plans for the proposed dance-hall and stage, signage designs and stream-enhancement concepts.

Destination by Design, which recently completed Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park in Boone, will provide structural engineers to ensure the Lansing Park plans are suitable for their proposed functions.

Miller said the health department contracted with Destination by Design to better accomplish its grant objectives.

“Through their scope of work they have designed a regional 15-year master plan, which has been coined ‘Health by Design’,” Miller said.

According to information distributed by the firm, “Health by Design packages and presents a regional analysis on the relationship between the built-environment and public health while providing a road map and tools for public health experts and planners to effect positive change.”

In addition to the technical assistance provided by Destination by Design, valued at approximately $30,000 the Health Department is contributing $10,000 to the Lansing Park project.

These funds will be counted towards the $500,000 the Park Project is required to raise to match the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant, which is backing the expansion.

The Community Transformation Grant was originally going to work on the old Beaver Creek School property, but focus shifted to the Lansing Park Project.

“Once the new county manager, Sam Yearick, came on board, he decided it was best to put efforts toward the Lansing Park, because it had more momentum and seemed to be a better fit,” Miller said.

Yearick, who grew up in Helton township, attended the Lansing Alderman meeting and addressed the board, saying that Lansing is “near and dear” to his heart.

“There is a lot of potential in Lansing,” Yearick said. “You’re giving people new reasons to come to here.”

Christina Day can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @CDayinWJ

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