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Bridge, pathway dedicated at park
Group completed the project as part of program
Bridge pic 1
Seventeen graduates from the Management Development Program constructed a bridge and walkway that connects the Dawson County Humane Society with Rock Creek Park as the group's required community service project. - photo by Michele Hester

A bridge and walkway connecting the new Dawson County Humane Society and Rock Creek Park is now open to the public.


The dedication ceremony was held July 18 with a ribbon cutting at the park.


Guest speakers recognized the work of a group of local government employees who designed and constructed the bridge and walkway as their graduation in the Management Development Program with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.


“I want to really say thank you to all of you for coming out today,” said MDP graduate Karen Armstrong, one of 17 individuals in Dawson and Lumpkin counties and the city of Dawsonville.


As a graduation requirement for the management development program, participants were to work together in performing a service to the community.


The recent opening of Dawson County’s new animal shelter seemed like a perfect fit after Armstrong learned of a new program the humane society hopes to implement called Never Walk Alone.


Never Walk Alone gives park goers and animal lovers alike an opportunity to walk the dogs at the shelter as they stroll throughout Rock Creek Park.


Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner commended the group on the project’s completion, saying, “There are a lot of other projects they could have taken on that would not have had the impact on our community that would have been a lot easier and they could have still graduated.”


Without a pre-determined budget, the management group relied on the community members’ generosity and recognized those who contributed to the “worthwhile cause.”


George David, whose family also donated the land for the Humane Society, covered over two-thirds of the cost of the project, with several community members and local businesses offering to help.


Dawson County District 1 Commissioner Gary Pichon hand-crafted the dedication sign that has been placed next to the bridge as the walkers enter the pathway.


“Through a lot of labor, love and sweat, we were very honored to do this for Kay (animal shelter director) and their group,” Armstrong said.


“We appreciate the Humane Society and our partnership we have with them here in Dawson County and we hope all of you get a lot of use out of this trail,” Tanner said.


E-mail Michele Hester at