Have you ever noticed the shed to the right of the high school visitor parking? That shed is located at the start of a now overgrown series of winding trails through the woods on school grounds. These trails, not currently used, were once the cross country course. The cross country team now hosts their home races off campus at Cortland Water Works due to the inaccessibility of the trails. Not only are the trails not passable at points, but there is a bridge that is underwater and beyond repair which further prohibits anyone from using the trails.
Athletic Director, Tim Wagoner, decided to contact the staff of the Cortland Lowe’s Companies Inc. to see if they would be interested in partnering to build a new bridge and fix the trails. Each year Lowe’s picks a community project to take on and they were immediately interested in this idea. Nate Wingard, Cortland High School alumni and current member of the Lowe’s Cortland team, was excited about the idea: “As a Cortland alumnus, I really wanted to give back to my former school. My mom also worked for the district for years and she recently retired. I know that she enjoyed her time working for the district and would love to see me be a part of this project.”
On October 5th, the Lowe's team met with Tim Wagoner and walked the trails. Logistics were discussed along with how the new bridge would be constructed to be safe for walkers and runners. Lowe’s employees will sign up for four hour shifts to work on the project. Teams have been assembled to work on various aspects of the project including: the landscaping, the trail, and the bridge. Wagoner sees additional opportunities, “Once the work is completed, I would like to see our cross country team host their races at high school. If I include the perimeter of the football fields we can have a great 5K course for varsity and another shorter course for modified cross country. I also would like to use the trails for physical education classes for students to get outside and either hike, walk or run.”
Construction will start on Monday, October 16th. Be sure to follow us on twitter @CECSDistrict for updates. Cortland Enlarged City School District is excited to partner with Lowe's to revive the trails and bring the cross country team back to school.
Founded in 1957, Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation has a long and proud history of improving the communities we serve. The foundation's support has grown to match the growing needs of our communities, going from $3 million in contributions in 2004 to nearly $19 million in 2010. The foundation's primary philanthropic focus centers on K–12 public education and community improvement. Within these areas, Lowe's Foundation is committed to supporting projects that have the greatest impact on our communities and align with our core business — home improvement. We believe education is the cornerstone to building bright futures and stronger communities. Click here for more information on Lowe's Charitable Efforts.