Colby Walking Trails - a Community Project
The Colby Walking Trails are a community organized project, designed and developed by the Colby's Active Community Design Committee. Together with the help of local individuals and businesses, we are creating a year-round usable space to increase the activity level, improve the health and add to the enjoyment of the entire city.
The vision of having a recreational trail in Colby began over 25 years ago with the Thomas County Wellness Committee. As the TCC began to shift its focus to “Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice,” they began to partner with the Wellness Committee to take on this challenge. In 2011 the vision of having a recreational trail was realized after a town hall meeting prompted a local philanthropist, Lon Frahm, to challenge the community to match his $25,000 donation, to which he would add an additional $25,000 for the construction of Phase 1 of the Colby Walking Trail. Thomas County residents met the challenge of raising over $25,000 in 3 weeks to receive the promised funds to construct the first recreational trail in the county. Through the community's collaborative efforts, grant funding and donations, 2.2 miles of walking/biking trail was constructed.
State and national grants provided the knowledge/tools for planning the multi-purpose trail. Through funding provided by Kansas Health Foundation, Kansas Department of Health & Environment and ACHIEVE, TCC members were able to conduct extensive planning and facilitation for the project. Keeping our goal in mind, we continue seeking related grants, raising local funds, working for policy change and raising public knowledge and awareness about the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.