To enact a real change, it must come from within. That's precisely the approach Rio Hondo took when they adopted the Rails to Trails program. City vehicles and students sharing the same roads, creating an unsafe environment for pedestrians and motorists alike, brought on a very real need for an alternate space to run, walk, hike, and ride. Instead of looking for help from outside the town, city planner Ben Medina decided to reach out to Region One ESC GEAR UP: Ready, Set, College! leaders to help him address the need for a safer city trail system.
GEAR UP students applied to be on a panel that would learn what a city planner does by actually designing and presenting a full-blown trail system for the entire city. In a major win-win for Rio Hondo, students got hands-on training in a career they might not have known about—in addition to making their stomping grounds a place where they could stomp safely. It’s programs like these that can make all the difference in the lives of our kids. Check out how it all went down in the newest "Texas GEAR UP in Action" video on the Toolbox page, and be sure to plan on taking a (safe) stroll around Rio Hondo next time you’re in town.