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MILLERSBURG -- The Holmes County Home is paving the way to a whole new outdoor experience for residents, families and the community at large.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the home's auxiliary, work is soon to begin on the construction of a walking path through the back field of the property, according to Superintendent Deb Miller, who, along with maintenance employee Reece Uhl, outlined the plan, complete with an aerial rendition during a recent meeting with the Holmes County commissioners.
The 6-foot wide concrete path will be highlighted with landscaping and, eventually, a picnic area, according to Miller, who said the surface will be flat and smooth, making the entire 1,400-foot length wheelchair accessible.
"We have a lot of residents who enjoy being outdoors and walking, but there's not a lot of options where they can walk safely," said Miller, adding, "The sunshine, natural light, birds, it helps make them calm. They can get out and see nature and remember some of the things they did when they were more able.
"You can always tell when they've been outside. A visit outside can change their overall demeanor," she said.
Installation of the concrete path is the third phase of a comprehensive plan to overhaul the grounds -- the first two phases of which included construction of a storage and maintenance building and leveling of the ground behind the home, according to Uhl.
The projected cost of the last phase of the project, to be paid entirely by the County Home Auxiliary, is $52,000 to $57,000, according to Miller, adding an area Boy Scout has expressed interest in constructing a bridge along the path as part of his Eagle Scout requirements.
It's a project to which the residents are looking forward, said Miller, noting she's been approached by quite a few asking when construction will start. She said she hopes to have it completed by summertime.
It's a project the commissioners said they are fully behind.
"I think stuff like that is absolutely great," said Commissioner Joe Miller.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.