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Leadership class blazes path at Caney Creek
Officials dedicate welcome addition
Path WEB 1
Paul West and Linda Roberts-Betsch walk to the new nature trails at Caney Creek Preserve. - photo by Crystal Ledford

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• For more information about Leadership Forsyth, visit

• For more on Caney Creek Preserve, go to and click on “Parks and Recreation” under “Departments.”

New walking trails at a south Forsyth park were dedicated during a ceremony Friday.

Members of the Leadership Forsyth Class of 2013 created about half a mile of new nature trails at Caney Creek Preserve, 2755 Caney Road.

Leadership Forsyth is a nearly year-long program that fosters rising leaders in the county.

Each fall, a new class of about 35 is chosen from nominations. Class members take part in monthly educational days, and at the end of the program come together to complete a class project.

The purpose of the project is to leave a lasting legacy that will in some way better Forsyth.

The 2,500 feet of trails at Caney was the project chosen by members of this year’s class. The trails include educational signs and are in addition to an existing mile of trail.

Tom Dill, one of the class members instrumental in leading the project, said participants did everything from fundraising to clearing trees and brush.

“We solicited donations from people because we had to raise money to build and install the signs,” Dill said. “We as a class provided all the labor. We chopped and all those types of things. It was through the woods, so we actually had to go out through the trees and actually clear it out, level it and make it walkable.”

During Friday’s ceremony, the trails were officially welcomed as a part of the park with a ribbon cutting and recognition of sponsors who helped fund the project.

Jerry Kinsey, the county’s director of parks and recreation, said he and other department leaders appreciated the organization’s help.

“I just want to say thank you to Leadership Forsyth. They have done several projects over the county in other parks,” he said. “We really do appreciate them. It brings the community together.”

Class member Christopher LeBlanc said he was pleased to see the project completed.

“Everybody has really utilized all their talents and together we made it happen,” he said. “We’re just excited to open it for the community and hopefully a lot of people will enjoy it.”