Despite global challenges, Augusta’s parks and trails have helped our city cope during the last few months. We have a wealth of natural areas and trail systems. During the pandemic, there has been a resurgence of recreating in parks. Capital Park is always bustling with people. The Rail Trail was probably logging more traffic than the turnpike this past spring. And, we have so many “hidden gem” areas that have been surprisingly uncrowded. I am so grateful to the staff who maintain our parks as well as the many groups and volunteers who have created and continue to steward our open space.

While we have many opportunities for recreation, access is not equitable in Augusta. Some residents do not live near a trail or park, or if one is nearby, the roads may be too dangerous without a car. Yes, for some people driving is an option, but walking or biking is fun and helps you to routinely get more exercise. And, kids, who have had so much closed, cancelled, or moved online, deserve the opportunity to walk or ride safely to parks.

One measure of access is how many residents are a half-mile walk from a park entrance. Or, how many people are a 10-minute walk away. Can you walk to a park or trail in 10 minutes? Does the walk feel safe or are there dangerous places to be a pedestrian? There are opportunities for our roads to be safer for people to access our parks and trails. If you notice anything that could be improved, please reach out to CAPITAL, Augusta’s Bike and Pedestrian Group. Send us an email ([email protected]) or tag us on Facebook (@CAPITALBikePed).

 

Kirsten Brewer

Augusta

 


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