Ronald Horton Cross Country Trail has been loved by Northwood students and surrounding community for years

Pittsboro, NC – Eric Williams spoke about the Ronald Horton Cross Country trail on the Northwood high school campus during the public input portion of the Chatham County School Board meeting on Monday, June 8.

Hi my name is Eric Williams. I am a Chatham County native and a 2011 Northwood High School graduate. After college, I came back to Pittsboro and have been actively involved in the community through my day job and roles in local organizations such as past president of the Pittsboro Rotary Club and ambassador for the Chatham County Chamber of Commerce. I’m here today to talk about one of my favorite places in Chatham County. A place that I have met lifelong friends. A placed that showed me the rewards of hard work. A place that taught me how to grow and become a better version of myself. A place that showed me the value and positive effect that nature has on a person’s well-being. A place that ultimately shaped my teenage mind enough to inspire me to want to come back to this community as an adult and work each day to make Chatham County better. A place filled with some of my fondest memories. A place recently described, in one of these board meetings, as unused property. 

Of course, I am talking about the Ronald Horton Cross Country Trail – one of the longest on-campus high school cross country trails in North Carolina. I’m here today to urge stakeholders to take a walk on the trail. To listen to your community as they talk about the trail. And as you are in the early stages of deliberations about the future of the trail, to think about how special and integral it is to the community. To not call it unused property, but instead call it what it is: an incredible natural area that has been loved by Northwood students and the surrounding community for many years. 

In sum, the area of land between 15-501 and Northwood High School provides a uniquely accessible environment for students to develop an appreciate of nature. This area has shaped my life and the lives of many others in the community. I hope everyone will take a long, hard look at what we do have before getting too deep into conversations about what we could have.

Thank you so much for your time and considerations. I appreciate all you do for the students of Chatham County.