SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Santa Maria now has a new walking trail and open space located in a growing section of the city.
On Thursday, Leadership Santa Maria Valley (LSMV) unveiled the Legacy Community Trail that has been in works for the past six months.
"We put in and developed from an empty lot to a usable outdoor space," said Josh Scroggin, member of the Santa Maria Valley Class of 2019. "We've done some landscaping with trees. We've laid more than four football field lengths of linear path to walk in a community where residential development has really outpaced outdoor recreational development and so this community is really ready to get out there and stretch its legs."
The new trail is located on a 4.6 parcel along Carmen Lane, just west of Broadway, between Blosser Road and the railroad tracks.
It measures 1,400 linear yards and is intended to attract local residents, who wish to use the path as a much-needed outlet for exercise and recreation.
"It's a huge deal for our city," said Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Commissioner Rebecca Carey. "To have another place to walk and to be able to bring the kids out and have a great place to run in this neighborhood, it's amazing."
The project was created by the LSMV Class of 2019.
The 11-month program is organized by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.
According to the Chamber website, the goal of the program is to foster and create future community leaders by increasing their understanding of local issues, challenges and solutions.
Each class is also tasked with creating a legacy project that will benefit the community.
In addition to the walking trail, the project will include future additions.
For this project, Thursday's unveiling was simply the first step in what will be an evolving site over the years.
There are already plans in the works for several additional phases that will expand the project's scope, including the installation of benches, demonstration fruit orchard, community garden and much more.
"That's the goal," said Scroggin. "The Leadership Class of 2019 has already come together and pledged, let's keep it going. Even though we've already graduated, we're forming a committee to stay together to continue to develop as much as we can. We'll continue to fundraise and do projects as we can do them. We've got a group of volunteers who came out and helped make this happen now, who we're hoping will continue to come out and help us keep going. Also, it's wide open for anybody else who is invested in a project like this, to come in and also help develop. We're ready for folks to come in and grab the baton and add to the vision."
For more information about LSMV, visit the Leadership Santa Maria Valley website.