However, Oak Grove Elementary has had their track for years.
The project was the joint effort of the Oak Grove Ruritan Club and the elementary school.
“Our (Ruritan’s) basic goal is to improve the community where we live and work and play,” Oak Grove Ruritan member Harold Wofford said.
Originally named the “Huff and Puff” trail, it was later renamed the Veterans’ Huff and Puff Freedom Trail. The name was changed to honor veteran James Curtis, who worked on the trail. John Kirkpatrick was also extremely involved in the project, Wofford said.
“Quite frankly, they did most of the work,” Wofford said.
Although Principal Ted Bryson was not the principal when the trail was blazed, he is extremely proud of the school’s outdoor facilities.
Bryson said he thinks the project started about 30 years ago.
The trail circles around the school’s playground, and Bryson said it is second to none.
“We are the only one (school trail) that is a part of the Greenway,” Bryson said.
The Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway board wanted to give the people on the Oak Grove side of town a Greenway, but could not connect to the trail on the other end of town. So, the organization made the school’s trail an official part of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway network, even though it does not connect to any other trails. The “Huff and Puff” is open to the public when school is not in session.
In 2008, major improvements to the trail were made possible through a $20,571 Healthy Community Initiative grant.
“The people in the Oak Grove community built it ... the grant just made it better,” Bryson said.
Legislative Assistant to the Commission Amy Moore helped the school prepare for the application process. Moore said paving the trail was one of the first projects to be completed with an HCI grant.
Paving the trail made it accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
The walking track continues to be an ever-improving project for the public to enjoy.
Two years ago, school nurse Misi Rollins Austin applied for and received a Coordinated School Health Grant for the trail.
Oak Grove school used the money from the grant to install stations along the trail where walkers can stop and do specific exercises. Austin said four stations focus on working different groups of muscles. The fifth is a cool-down station.
Three laps around the trail equal a mile. Austin said the public is encouraged to use the trail except during school hours. The track is closed to the public during that time for security reasons.
By the end of the school year, every Bradley County elementary school except for Michigan Avenue and Charleston Elementary Schools will have a walking track.