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Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 9:05am

New Funds for School Walkways, Bike Paths

Getting more kids to walk and bike to school is the aim of a federal program that has awarded money to several school systems across the state to build more paths.

Fourteen school systems will divvy up about $4.5 million to build more bike paths and walkways around their schools.

The city of Palmetto south of Atlanta netted nearly a half a million dollars in order to construct a mile long route around its only public school, Palmetto Elementary.

It serves 560 kids and all of them will be able to use the path when its construction is completed a year from now says city administrator Terry Todd.

Right now, he says, kids have to cross busy roads including a state route in order to get to school by foot.

"The biggest thing is the safety with the route," says Todd, "but I think the other thing is this will also afford an opportunity for the school to present a riding and walking program and the school would try to make it where it would help with the exercise the children would get."

According to the 2009 Trust for America’s Health report, more than a third of Georgia’s youth are overweight.

The following school systems/schools received infrastructure funds:

Glynn County: $220,207.00
Altama Elementary, Burroughs-Mollette Elementary, Golden Isles Elementary, Goodyear Elementary, and Oglethorpe Point Elementary Schools

City of Newton/ Baker County: $51,716.84
Baker County K-12 School

City of Newnan: $43,217.83
Newnan Crossing Elementary

City of Decatur: $498,944.48
Glennwood Academy, Clairemont Elementary, Oakhurst Elementary, Winnona Park Elementary and Carl G. Renfroe Middle Schools

Fulton County: $499,591.92
Love T. Nolan Elementary, Seaborn Lee Elementary, and Sandtown Elementary Schools

City of Dunwoody: $459,333.00
Kingsley Charter Elementary School

City of Grayson: $218,745.27
Grayson Elementary

City of Tifton: $297,766.00
G.O. Bailey School

Forsyth County: $499,042.00
Vickery Creek Elementary and Middle Schools

City of Jefferson: $499,680.00
Jefferson Elementary, Middle and High Schools and Jefferson Academy

City of Marietta: $492,512.62
West Side Elementary, A.L. Burruss Elementary and Marietta Middle Schools

City of Savannah: $401,197.25
Georgetown Elementary, White Bluff Elementary, Garden City Elementary, and Largo-Tibet Elementary Schools

City of Palmetto: $468,844.19
Palmetto Elementary School

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