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Albany State forges new trails with Riverquarium, Dougherty County

New partnerships to create trails and educational pursuits have been formed between Albany State University, the Flint Riverquarium and Dougherty County./ Jazmyne Hankerson

New partnerships to create trails and educational pursuits have been formed between Albany State University, the Flint Riverquarium and Dougherty County.

ASU will now be able to use its academic strengths to support the RiverQuarium through increased education and research programs, specifically the the work of its Georgia Water Planning and Policy Center and natural sciences disciplines according to the release.

“The ASU partnership with the Flint RiverQuarium gives us the opportunity to increase course offerings in biology, chemistry, forensic science, public administration and science education. We can develop new degree programs and minors and enhance service learning options for students and faculty,” said ASU President Art Dunning. “Through our partnership with Dougherty County on the Flint River Trails, ASU will be able to address health and wellness issues while contributing to the economic viability of our area by connecting the campus to downtown Albany.”

“The Flint RiverQuarium and its open-air aquarium is a tourism destination and attraction, but it's also a research and educational facility that promotes the study of the biodiversity of the Flint River ecosystem,” said Faison Middleton on behalf of the Flint RiverQuarium Board of Directors. “We’re excited about the partnership with ASU and for the possibilities it offers for more people to visit this asset, learn about this unique ecosystem, expand educational opportunities and conduct their research at the RiverQuarium.”

ASU's partnership with the county is to support health and wellness by further developing the Flint River Trails project to connect the ASU campus to reducing sedentary behavior and enabling easier access to the university’s health education program and screening events.

“The trails project identifies more than 20 miles of multi-use trails in Dougherty County with the potential to positively change the landscape of the county, increase tourism, and grow economic opportunities by connecting people to outdoor recreation areas, neighborhoods, schools, restaurants and shops,” said Christopher S. Cohilas, chairman of the Dougherty County Commission, an early supporter of trails who has invested in realizing the aggressive implementation of the Flint River Trail System. “This partnership means we can move quickly in getting the Albany State portion of the trail completed and ready for use.”

Both partnerships were made possible through a $1 million grant from the University System of Georgia.

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