New walking trail nearly complete

MERCEDES — One of Commissioner Armando Lopez’s daily routines is walking for exercise, like many others in town.

Most days he’s at the high school track or the walking trail at the Mercedes Civic Center to help himself stay healthy.

And now he’s excited about the new walking and jogging trail being made behind the Mercedes dome safe room for the residents of Mercedes and the Mid-Valley.

“This is great for the people, and they are going to come exercise,” Lopez said.

The walking trail that comes with three exercise stations was paid for through a $500,000 grant from the Knapp Community Care Foundation.

The walking trail is a 1.5 mile track, and the exercise stations will provide different exercise drills for people to do.

City Manager Richard Garcia said one of the stations will be specifically designed for members of the community who are physically challenged.

“If there in a wheelchair they will be able to exercise their arms,” Garcia said. “Crews are laying out the blacktop for the trail, and it will be done fairly quickly.”

Garcia said the walking trail is the first phase of a new city park that will eventually have baseball fields, tennis courts and soccer fields big enough to hold regional tournaments to bring more people into the city of Mercedes.

“Eventually we will have developed the whole thing,” Garcia said. “This is just part of a long-term master plan to develop this area.”

He said the city has applied to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for another $500,000 for future phases of the park.

Garcia said the intent is to develop a walking trail and exercise location to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles in the city.

Mayor Henry Hinojosa said this project could not have been done without the help of the Knapp Community Care Foundation.

The foundation was established in November 2012, and since its inception has created a mission of serving the Mid-Valley community through supporting organizations that promote the improvement of health in Mid-Valley families.

“Knapp Community Care Foundation is very proud of the partnership that we have created with the city of Mercedes with this project,” said Yvonne Gonzalez, Knapp Community Care Foundation chief executive officer.

Gonzalez said the contribution the foundation has made directly aligns with their mission to improve the health of Mid-Valley families.

“We feel very strongly that with the project the city of Mercedes has developed it will impact the long-term health of the community,” Gonzalez said.

“We are certain that the walking trail and the exercise equipment that we have funded, that this kind of investment will help improve the quality of life.”