At the beginning of 2022, the Foundation for a Healthier West Orange (FHWO) and Healthy West Orange Trails Connection (HWOTC) were entrusted with a grant to promote, activate, and enhance the trail system throughout west Orange County. Over the past 12 months, the HWOTC has prioritized safety and beautification initiatives that encourage physical activity and social engagement along the trail.
To celebrate the impact made in just one year, the HWOTC will host a “Take Over the Trails Day'' on Friday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. - noon. The event will celebrate the creation of the HWOTC steering committee, while also providing an opportunity for the community to learn more about this collaborative effort.
During the "Take Over the Trails'' event, various partners will be stationed on the West Orange Trail near the Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland. They will provide information about the HWOTC mission and accomplishments to date, which include forming one of the largest grassroots coalitions for trail activation and development in the Central Florida region. Remarks will kick off in front of the Heritage Center, located at 126 W. Petris Ave.
"Trails play a critical role in the health and wellness of our community,” said Lesa Boettcher, FHWO chief operating officer and HWOTC executive committee member. “The Foundation is committed to supporting opportunities that help increase physical activity, social engagement and overall wellbeing for our residents.”
HWOTC was developed to promote, activate, and enhance the trail system throughout west Orange County. The steering committee includes the Town of Oakland, the City of Ocoee, the Town of Windermere, the City of Winter Garden, Gotha Rural Settlement, the West Orange Healthcare District (WOHD), and the FHWO. Supporting agencies include Orange County, the Florida Department of Transportation, MetroPlan Orlando, Florida Department of Health – Orange County, West Orange Chamber of Commerce, Bike/Walk Central Florida and the City of Apopka among others.