A $216,000 grant will help the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education add trails to its Fort Smith campus. 

The grant is part of a program from the Arkansas Department of Transportation for its Transportation Alternatives Program and Recreational Trails Program for 2019, according to a news release from ACHE. The funds will assist in the development of the Wellness Lake Trail, a walking trail that will connect campus sidewalks to the ACHE Celebration Garden and Wellness Park.

Health and wellness are and will continue to be a priority at the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, the release states.

“Health and wellness are pivotal components of our mission," Kyle D. Parker, JD, CEO for ACHE, states in the release. "In addition to academic buildings, medical facilities, we want to develop portions of our 350 acres to promote physical activities like walking and biking.  We plan to add adult outdoor exercise equipment and playgrounds for children, all to make healthy living accessible and enjoyable.”

The Wellness Trail will also serve as a teaching environment for the ACHE post-graduate educational programs. Faculty will develop curriculum for the student doctors from the initial college, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine and from the incoming programs: School of Occupational Therapy, School of Physical Therapy and the School of Physician Assistant Studies, the release continues.

“The park will create authentic learning for student clinical education and field work that will assist community members in a variety of health and wellness activities," Jackie Krutsch, executive director of development, states in the release. "We are excited to provide this unique learning environment for our students that also serves the needs of the entire community.”