By: John Tredea, Staff Writer , Hopewell Valley News As published 04/27/2006

YAC’s other main focus is to study a proposed teen center

   Hopewell Township’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) is urging area officials to complete the Lawrence-Hopewell Trail (LHT), because it would be a safe and important asset in terms of both recreation and transportation.
Less than half finished at present, the trail would be a 20-mile loop through the two townships. Some officials and residents have proposed spurs off the trail, including one linking Hopewell Valley Central High School to the main loop.
“Many of our youth are unable to participate in after-school activities due to lack of safe transportation,” an April 24 letter to the Township Committee stated.
The letter, read aloud during Monday night’s Township Committee meeting by YAC member Sumra Ahmed, added: “Completion of the trail would … create safe connections from the schools to other places such as the Hopewell Valley Skate Park (on Route 546 near the township’s Municipal Building). Similarly, the trail would be a recreational activity in itself because it would allow for bike riding, roller-blading, fitness walking, etc. Please rest assured we will educate our fellow students on the benefits of, and the need for positive use of, the trail.”
The YAC’s other main focus at present is to study a proposed teen center for the Valley, YAC member Desiree Grace told the committee Monday night.
The YAC includes 10 teens and four adults. In addition to Ms. Ahmed and Ms. Grace, the students are Kaitlyn Gregory, Eileen Guo, Rosie Rarich, Lena Klett, Lauren Sheidler, Kevin Smith, Tim Korwin and Tom Petrino.
The adult members are Township Committeeman Mark Iorio, resident Kim Bruno, Central High School social studies department head Jack Wolff and Central High Vice Principal Dennis Vinson.
Members of the Township Committee expressed their support for YAC Monday. One official said: “Thanks for coming and keep up the good work.”
Copies of the YAC letter to township government have been sent to the LHT Committee, the state Department of Transportation, the Municipal Land Use Center at the College of New Jersey, U.S. Congressman Rush Holt, state Assemblyman Reed Gusciora and state Sen. Shirley Turner.

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