Woodland Community rallies to build walking path at Columbia Elementary School

Students use the walking track during physical education and recess and community members walk the track for exercise. Photo courtesy Woodland School District
Students use the walking track during physical education and recess and community members walk the track for exercise. Photo courtesy Woodland School District

The project, which was completed over spring break, was carried out entirely through donations of materials, labor, and equipment, resulting in no cost to Woodland Public Schools

Local businesses and resident volunteers of Woodland came together to construct a quarter-mile gravel walking track at Columbia Elementary School. The project, which was completed over spring break, was carried out entirely through donations of materials, labor, and equipment, resulting in no cost to Woodland Public Schools.

The idea for the walking track stemmed from a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meeting, where a parent expressed interest in the project. “It’s been on my ‘want’ list for a few years and something that we have looked at multiple times,” said David Starkey, Principal of Columbia Elementary. “At that time, we couldn’t figure out a way to fund the project.”

The project was spearheaded by Katie Murdock, a PTSA board member and parent of a third-grade student at Columbia. She coordinated with contractors, rallied volunteers, and raised funds to bring the idea to fruition. “When it comes to the people who stepped up, I was lucky to raise my kids in a community like Woodland,” she said. “I don’t have words for how amazed and grateful I am for all the support that the community showed for this project.”

Woodland businesses and community volunteers joined forces to create a gravel walking path at Columbia Elementary School at no cost. Photo courtesy Woodland School District
Woodland businesses and community volunteers joined forces to create a gravel walking path at Columbia Elementary School at no cost. Photo courtesy Woodland School District

Among the key contributors were Ryan and Amanda Goulet of Ryan’s Excavating and Trucking. Despite not having children at Columbia Elementary, the Goulets were eager to give back to their community. “We love to give back and that field really did need a walking path,” said Ryan. “It wasn’t hard to find people willing to volunteer their resources for such a good cause.”

Other contributors included Simplicity by Hayden Homes, C&E Rentals, and Matt Rychel, a fellow Woodland community member and parent at Columbia Elementary. The project, which would have cost about $11,000, was made possible through these generous donors and volunteers.

The gravel track is now being used by students during physical education and recess and is also open for community use as well. The school and community plans to eventually have the track blacktopped and sealed, making it more efficient and ADA-accessible. However, additional funds are still needed for this final stage.

Those interested in contributing to the final stage of the project can contact the Woodland PTSA for information on how to donate at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/woodland.ptsa.

Learn more about how Woodland Public Schools educates students and serves the community by visiting the dedicated news webpage at www.woodlandschools.org/news/wsd

Information provided by the Woodland School District.


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