Led by the Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama, the Walker County Health Action Partnership went before the Walker County Commission on April 4 to express their gratitude for the support that the commission and the county has given to the new Walker County Lake Project.
The Bold Goals Coalition is working with several business, nonprofit, government and education organizations, including United Way of Central Alabama, to address health disparities in the region. The Walker County Health Action Partnership coordinates the impact of the Bold Goals Coalition on a local level in Walker County.
“The Health Action Partnership is so beneficial to the county,” said Billy Luster, chairman of Walker County Commission. “It’s something that we’re gladly participating and it benefits us immensely.”
Late last year, the partnership laid out the Walker County Lake Master Plan. The plan focused on expanding recreational opportunities for county residents and to increase the use of the lake by different local groups and regional travelers.
Through 2015, 11 organizations contributed more than $81,000 of funds and in-kind donations in support of the Walker County Lake Project, with $10, 000 from United Way of Central Alabama for the Bold Goals Advancement Funds.
To that end, Cawaco Resource Conservation and Development donated five kayaks towards the lake project as part of their own “Kayaks for Kids” program to encourage outdoor recreation and teach water safety to youth.
“Walker County Lake provides a perfect location to house the kayaks. Our goal is that they are easily accessible and a benefit to Walker County residents,” said Cawaco Executive Director Kellie Johnston. Kayaks are also available for daily rental for $10 by individuals, which includes a fishing permit. Individuals must be at least 16 years old to rent one. “Walker County Lake needed some way to generate income, and we needed a place for these kayaks. This is a win-win for everybody.”
“The United Way can’t do it alone. The foundation can’t do it alone. The county can’t do it alone, so we’ve got to pull together,” said Paul Kennedy, President of Walker Area Community Foundation. “The county lake is just one of many places where we feel like we can make a difference in making Walker County a more vibrant, attractive place to live, work and play.”