clear
Wednesday May 6th, 2015 6:31AM

UNG students build cross-country trail for Oakwood school, community

By Staff
OAKWOOD - Thanks to some motivated students at the University of North Georgia (UNG), cross-country athletes at an Oakwood school will soon be off the back roads and on a running trail of their own.

Students in the Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Studies course at UNG have completed construction of the circular trail, which winds throughout the Maranatha Christian Academy's campus in Oakwood, through wooded areas, across a bridge, and over several hills. The UNG students decided to build the trail after learning that cross-country athletes at the school were running on local roads because they did not have a trail on campus.

"Several of the student builders were runners in high school, so they were very interested in helping the academy have a trail of its own," said Tonya Butler-Collins, assistant professor of health, physical education and recreation in UNG's College of Education. "The project provided a great deal of experience to the students, and the track will also provide a venue for functions such as church and school fundraisers."

Through UNG's service-learning activities, students apply academic knowledge to practical community needs and have the opportunity to develop valuable skills and experience. UNG's commitment to community engagement and service is part of the university's mission statement, and a focus for academic departments and organizations across the university's four campuses.

Butler-Collins said that the students were so dedicated to completing the trail quickly that they worked evenings, weekends, and even during Thanksgiving break.

"We at Maranatha greatly appreciate the time, effort, and expertise of these students," said Delma Simmons, principal of Maranatha Christian Academy. "The trail will be of great benefit to our athletic program. This is the first year that Maranatha has fielded a cross-country team. Our team fared well in competition, and the on-campus trail will enhance the training program of our athletes."

On Monday, the academy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the trail's entrance, which was attended by Oakwood City Council member Sam Evans.

"We all wanted to give back to this community and to give Maranatha students the ability to spend more time outside exercising and reconnecting with nature," said Zack Dudley, a junior at UNG. "The whole experience was great, especially because Maranatha was so willing to work with us."

Peyton Dempsey, a sophomore and cross-country athlete at Maranatha, is looking forward to running on the trail. He said that it will be a nice change to run on a shaded, secluded trail rather than running on roads, and that the team is excited to have their own trail, because typically only large schools have their own trails.

"In addition to training, we hope to be able to host cross-country meets at Maranatha, as the 1-mile trail was designed by the UNG students with cross-country in mind," Simmons said. "We are in hopes that the trail will be of benefit to our school and church families, and to our community as well."

© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Big Red Shootout: Buford foils Lady Elephants' upset bid in finale
Buford junior Camille Anderson knows to forget about the past during games.
11:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Boys basketball: Knights rebound with win over Centennial
The Johnson boys bounced back after a loss to Grayson on Friday with a 94-72 win Saturday night over Centennial in the Duluth Jingle Jam.
10:43PM ( 1 year ago )
Girls basketball: Dawson falls in Battle of States finals
Dawson County fell behind early and could not complete the comeback in a 70-65 loss to Hayesville, N.C. in the championship game of The Battle of the States Tournament Saturday night.
10:38PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Sports
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Girls soccer: Lady War Eagles make history, storm into first ever quarterfinals
Mark Dunn keeps watching his retirement drift further and further away. And the Chestatee girls soccer coach is just fine with that...
2:07PM ( 7 hours from now )
Girls soccer: Lady Wolves roll into 3rd round; St. Pius up next (VIDEO)
Buford girls soccer coach Crystal Fowler wanted to see some variety from her offense Tuesday in the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs...
12:45PM ( 6 hours from now )
Baseball: Area teams head to 2nd round with momentum
Area teams caught some big breaks, others made their own, and one, Jackson County, made history in the first round of the state baseball playoffs...
12:31PM ( 5 hours from now )
Hawks fight back, knot up series with Wizards, 1-1
DeMarre Carroll scored 22 points, Kyle Korver bounced back from a miserable first half and the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks held off the Washington Wizards 106-90 on Tuesday night, taking advantage of John Wall's absence to even the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game apiece.
10:40AM ( 4 hours from now )
Miller, Braves spoil Billingsley's return, beat Phillies 9-0
Shelby Miller has thrown other shutouts, but never one as efficient...
11:39PM ( 6 hours ago )