Earth Day Mulch
Romans walked from the library parking lot three-quarters of a mile to the new ECO Center in Ridge Ferry Park where Recreation Director Richard Garland and members of his staff offered tours of the new environmental education center along with free hot dogs.
David Kennemer with the Bike! Walk! Northwest Georgia group co-sponsored the event and was pleased with the turnout. Similar Walk to Lunch events are planned for later this spring in Lafayette, Dalton and Cave Spring.
“It was good. I really enjoyed the shade,” Antoine Posey said. He was with a group that included Sandra Montgomery, who said she usually brings groups out for picnics at the pavilion attached to the ECO Center.
“It wasn’t a bad walk. We usually enjoy short walks right here around the parking area,” Montgomery said.
“I think it was fabulous,” said Jim Kerscher of Rome, who walked with his wife Lynda. He said the two of them had walked along the trail as far as State Mutual Stadium on a number of occasions.
Dennis Nordeman, one of the captains onboard the city’s Roman Holiday tour boat, said he always sees a lot of people walking along the trial that parallels the Oostanaula River.
People who participated in the walk also helped christen new trail markers that Parks and Recreation personnel have just put along the trail at one-tenth of mile intervals, starting from the Chief John Ross Footbridge at the Town Green downtown. Garland said a series of three panel trailhead markers would probably be put up this fall to give walkers and bikers more information about the routes they’re planning to take.
Rome Environmental Planner Eric Lindberg showed off the new ECO Center and indicated to visitors that three new aquariums featuring fish that are native to the local rivers will be located in the center over the course of the next three months.
The largest tank will hold 2,700 gallons of water, another will hold 225 and the third a modest 100 gallons. The large tank is being built in Florida and is expected to arrive in about 10 weeks.
The ECO Center is located in the old city of Rome raw water pump station, which was constructed back in 1893. Paul Smith Construction of Rome led the restoration effort. Lindberg hopes that the building will earn a Gold LEED certification for its adaptive re-use.
“It’s wonderful all the stuff they are doing, rejuvenating older facilities. I love that,” said Pam DaSilva, an administrative aide in a downtown law office.
Rome’s Coosa River Basin Initiative organization will celebrate Earth Day this weekend with a special guided canoe and kayak paddle on the river Sunday.
The Walk to Lunch program in Cave Spring is set for June 5 from 10 a.m. until noon in Rolater Park.