A New Year's resolution for Tri-County YMCA

To get in shape with donation-funded outdoor walking track


The Tri-County YMCA in Osage Beach plans to build a new outdoor bicycle and walking track this spring.

The Tri-County YMCA in Osage Beach plans to build a new outdoor bicycle and walking track this spring. Photo by Rebecca Martin.

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — The Tri-County YMCA has a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, with donations coming in for a new outdoor bicycle and walking track.

The track, which will be roughly a mile long, will be built around a plot of land next to the YMCA building set to become a soccer field when funding becomes available.

The project will be completely donor-funded, said Joann Rutherford, executive director of Tri-County YMCA.

“Bob Schwartz, who’s been a great member for us and really supports the YMCA, said he’d help us, and he has. He’s gotten several people involved who have donated,” Rutherford said.

The YMCA has already accepted several contributions for the project, including use of construction equipment, but is seeking additional donations, such as the gravel-type material to complete the track.

“The first thing will be to get our foundation down. When the weather gets nice, we can finish it up and be ready to go,” Rutherford said.

“We’d like to have it ready by spring if we can, but it’s going to depend on weather.”

The outdoor track will supplement the indoor walking track and fitness center the YMCA offers, as well as its exercise classes, youth summer camps and team sports leagues.

“We’re just excited that we have another avenue and something outside to offer our members,” Rutherford said.

Currently the Tri-County YMCA uses about five of its 20 acres but is looking to expand.

“We want to start thinking about doing more stuff outside for kids, like camps. We’ve got a great property,” Rutherford said.

While YMCA members and day-pass users will have to wait a few months to use the new outdoor track, the YMCA has been busy in the past few months with other charitable projects.

“Christmas time is really our time of giving back to the community,” Rutherford said.

A big donor to the Candyland program, the Tri-County YMCA and its members provide about half the Christmas gifts the Lake Ozark Rotary Club gathers for local children in need. The YMCA also hosted a holiday canned-food drive for the Camden County Child Advocacy Council, as well as collecting toys for the Christmas for Kids program.

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