Students weigh in on Merrill?s River Bend Trail
The proposed River Bend Trail, a privately funded project connecting Council Grounds to Merrill’s downtown, was given “thumbs up” by Merrill area students recently via an essay contest sponsored by the River District Development Foundation of Merrill.
Students were asked to write what the addition of the trail means to them, with one essay writer selected to win a new bicycle. Cody Kleinschmidt, a fifth grade student at Washington School last year, wrote the winning essay. Congratulations to Cody.
The trail’s benefits to the community were expressed by students (Grades 1-6), with many of the students agreeing on a number of key points.
A safe place to ride bicycles appears to be important. Malaynie Dengel (grade 1) is looking forward to having “more room to play with our bikes.” Chloe Morris (grade 6) “rides her bike in the street because there is nowhere else to ride it,” adding she is excited that the trail “will provide a safe place to ride our bikes.”
Also appealing to the students was having a destination for activity with family and friends. Melony Bolling (grade 6) likes that “when a family is looking for some fun time together, all they need to do is head out to the trail.” Lucky Bhandari (grade 4) agrees that it will “make families closer,” adding “you and your family will spend more quality time together and friendships will also become better.”
Children today understand the need for regular exercise. To that end, Teddy Hehling (grade 5) is looking forward to having a place that “allows us to ride bikes, scooters, and roller skate! so people can have fun, exercise and more family time.” Alexis Slagoski (grade 4) believes the trail would be “an amazing thing for Merrill, a place to relax and enjoy the world around us.” Alexis also envisioned a trail where a person could “walk and see an eagle catching a meal or a deer taking a nap.”
“People are always on computers, phones, tablets and are never outside,” notes Nikolas Zastrow (grade 4), adding “It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends.” Wesley McIntyre is looking forward to a trail that safely accesses the MARC Center and Council Grounds.
The River District Development Foundation thanks all the students who participated in the essay contest. They understand that they have a valuable resource available in their near future, and are excited to be able to use the trail as another place to actively enjoy the natural beauty of Merrill. These children are eagerly looking forward to the benefits of a forward looking community and their enthusiasm is a reminder of our responsibility to provide the improvements that make Merrill a great place to live.
You can support the River Bend Trail project by becoming a member of “Friends of the River District”, volunteering to help, or donating money.
For more information, visit www.rivertraildistrictfoundationof merrill.com, email email@example.com, or see Friends of the River District on Facebook.