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Greenway etiquette 101

Thursday, June 14, 2012

School's out. The pool's open, and summer is in full swing. It's the season for people to get outdoors and enjoy all Cassville has to offer, which includes the ballfields, parks and the always popular Aquatic Center. Another part of the local parks system that is experiencing increased activity is the 3.5-mile Greenway Trail that links together all of the city parks.

Over the years, I've written several editorials commending the city for establishing the Greenway Trail and keeping it well maintained. The trail is an important part of the city's recreational offerings and definitely appeals to exercise enthusiasts. It also provides a safe route of travel for youngsters who can walk or bike from town to the pool and ballfields without having to cross busy city streets.

In recent weeks, more and more people have been utilizing the trail, and with that in mind, I am offering a list of what I'm calling Greenway etiquette tips.

1. I love to see people walking their dogs on the trail, but it's important that individuals keep their dogs on a leash for the safety and comfort levels of others.

2. Dog owners should also be sure their furry friends don't leave "surprises" along the trail. Be sure to clean up after your pet and make sure they use the grass not the trail where people are walking and running.

3. Be aware of your surroundings when you're navigating the pathway. It's common courtesy to keep to the right side of the path to let others pass you.

4. There are plenty of trash cans located along the Greenway, so please don't litter.

5. Keep glass bottles off the path. Broken glass presents a safety hazard, especially for young kids who might be walking back and forth from the pool in bare feet or flip-flops.

6. Be on the lookout for suspicious activity and report it to the local police. I run on the Greenway by myself in the evenings and have always felt safe, but it's important citizens look out for one another to make sure the trail stays that way.

Like anything, it takes the whole community working together to maintain the resources of our community. The Greenway Trail is one of Cassville's assets -- let's use it and not abuse it.

Happy Trails.

Lisa Schlichtman