Tennessee’s first lady participates in inaugural walk May 3 on Van Buren County’s new track

By | May 6, 2019 8:08 am

Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee (far left in shorts) takes part in the inaugural walk at Van Buren County’s newest “Walking Track Trail.” Next to Lee is Greg Wilson, Van Buren County executive.

By Rachel Auberger

Van Buren County, while participating in the Healthier Tennessee Communities, has been able to put together what Greg Wilson, county executive, is calling a “Walking Track Trail.”

Healthier Tennessee Communities is an initiative in which more than 100 communities across the state are taking steps to improve the quality of life in their areas. They are taking part in grassroots movement with simple, free, and effective ways to help their communities be more active and make healthier choices about their everyday lives. Van Buren County, under the direction of its health department, has joined the movement and is finding ways for the members of their communities to become active, and one of their projects has been to create walking tracks throughout the county.

Capt. R.C. Christian, of the Tennessee Highway Patrol who is also a Van Buren County native, walks the track with his wife, Michelle (front, right).

On May 3, 2019, city, county, and state officials gathered to officially open the newest of these tracks in the Cummingsville community. On hand to participate in the inaugural walk on the latest trail were Tennessee’s First Lady, Maria Lee, along with Wilson, Spencer City Mayor Mickey Robinson, several county commissioners, a representative from Congressman Scott DesJarlais’s office, Capt. R.C. Christian with the Tennessee State Highway Patrol, and several representatives from the Van Buren County Health Department.

“Before we began this project, we only had two walking tracks in Van Buren County,” Wilson said. “One was at Fall Creek Falls, and we were able to put lights with it. The other one was in Spencer.”

Wilson introduced Tennessee’s first lady, the wife of governor Bill Lee, Maria Lee.

“[Lee] actually walked on the track, in Spencer, when her husband, Gov. Lee, was on the campaign trail and made stops here in Van Buren County,” Wilson said.

”When we first came here, our very first stop, we fell in love with the area here and with the people here. This is a special place for us,” Maria Lee said. “I’m so excited for the walking track. It is going to be great way to get fit and stay healthy, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. I think this is going to grow into more than just a walking track, and I’m excited for you all to be able to have this. Thank you for letting me be a part of this today.”

Wilson said Van Buren County has one more walking track to complete. The final track will be placed in the Mooneyham community. Wilson said plans have been underway for a while, and they are ready to begin working on the community center at the new site, and, after that, they will place the final walking trail.

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