T.A.S.T.E. walking trail opens in Marksville

Rain did not stop the celebration of the opening of a new fitness park in Marksville. A ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the “Transforming, Action, Served, Triggering, Empowerment” (T.A.S.T.E.) of Fitness Park, located on St. John Street, was held on March 22.According to pastor and T.A.S.T.E. President Charles E. Guillory, the park is just the first phase in a larger project by the church-based organization. Future plans for the property have not yet been announced.“This is a great day for this community. This organization began in 2010 and this is the first of a much larger project we have envisioned for the area near the park,” he said. “At St. John we believe in development of the whole being, not just the spiritual.”Funding for the park came through a grant from the Rapides Foundation along with donations from the church and community members and the city of Marksville.“We could not have started this project without the help of then-Councilwoman Joyce Prier,” Guillory said. “The city contributed greatly to this project.”Guillory also wanted to announce the park is designed for the entire community to enjoy, not just church members.“This is a public facility. Whoever wants to walk here is invited to come,” he said.Howard Jones, T.A.S.T.E. treasurer, explained the founding of the organization and the start of the park.“We needed a non-profit organization to oversee the projects and so we developed T.A.S.T.E.,” he said. “This park is a welcome addition to this community. It was a one time cow pasture and now it is a place of fitness to aid in the health and wellness of everyone in the community.”Damp weather kept a ribbon cutting ceremony inside as Marksville Mayor John Lemoine and Rev. Guillory ceremoniously did the honors.At the end of the dedication service, a balloon launch was held in the parking lot leading to the fitness park.The T.A.S.T.E. of Fitness Park is now open to the public free of charge any time of the day or evening. It is located at the end of St. John Street in Marksville, across from St. John Community Church-Baptist.

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