Building a safe path

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - What started as a student-led initiative has now come to fruition.

A few years ago, two students from Walton High School started a petition to get a sidewalk through Wee Care Park in DeFuniak Springs.

"It means everything. To have an interest in our children, to have a part, to have what's right for our community, which is keeping children safe and keeping people safe, is a responsibility of so many. So I can play a part in the safety of children, the safety of our community, and the commissioners can play a part and we can get our hand in the dirt together," said Walton County School District's Superintendent Russell Hughes.

With Walton High School on one side and Maude Saunders Elementary School on the other, the students felt it necessary to have a designated walking path for students instead of walking on the road.

"To know that approximately 100-150 of the high school kids at Walton High signed a petition to have this sidewalk built and I just thought it can't be that difficult and I proposed it to the board and we made it happen," said Walton County District 3 Commissioner, Melanie Nipper.

Walton County Commissioners Nipper, Jones, and Comander, as well as Superintendent Hughes and a few students from Walton High School, participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.

"[The students] paid it forward. They are not going to have an opportunity as students to walk on this sidewalk, but perhaps with their children [will]. They took hold of the issue and saw it to the end," Hughes said.