Plenty of ben­e­fits

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

IN RE­SPONSE to Mr McKay’s let­ter ( McIvor Times, Fe­bru­ary 10).

The real ‘tan­gi­ble’ ben­e­fit to the com­mu­ni­ties of Axedale, Heathcote, Bendigo (and all the lo­ca­tions in be­tween— from the re­cently com­pleted O’Keefe Rail Trail ex­ten­sion is the im­por­tance of cre­at­ing pub­lic space that en­cour­ages our com­mu­ni­ties to be more ac­tive.

Whether that be cy­cling, run­ning, walk­ing or even rid­ing a horse.

One does not have to be a tourist to em­brace the ben­e­fits and ac­cess the trail.

Though judg­ing by the num­bers of vis­it­ing cy­clists pass­ing through our town­ship, stop­ping for a well-de­served break, a drink and a meal at our town’s tav­ern, it seems the “build it and they will come” the­ory is most cer­tainly work­ing.

The ris­ing rates of obe­sity and re­lated chronic dis­ease can­not be ig­nored.

Hav­ing safe and ac­ces­si­ble spa­ces to use for all abil­i­ties is what makes liv­ing in our com­mu­ni­ties great.

I see this ev­ery day in Axedale, mem­bers of our com­mu­nity mak­ing the most of be­ing able to use a safe path, off main roads, through beau­ti­ful bush land and open fields.

The O’Keefe Rail Trail has given them a rea­son to be ac­tive, made it eas­ier to not just sit on the couch, en­cour­ag­ing us to get out­side in the fresh air and im­prove our well­be­ing.

Com­mu­nity groups in Axedale and Heathcote should be ap­plauded for cre­atively mak­ing the best of our prox­im­i­ties to the O’Keefe Rail Trail.

This year the Heathcote Com­mu­nity Games is host­ing the first fun run and marathon event along the trail, what an op­por­tu­nity to not only pro­mote healthy life­style to our res­i­dents but this will cer­tainly at­tract state-wide if not in­ter­state visi­ta­tion.

I value my rates con­tribut­ing to this sort of in­fra­struc­ture, be­cause if the health of our com­mu­ni­ties does not im­prove, the bur­den of fu­ture chronic dis­ease will be far more dev­as­tat­ing on our tax and rate pay­ing dol­lar. Yvonne Wrigglesworth Axedale

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