Ian Buchanan and Abigail Alvarez Interviews

28 Dec

Thank you so much for supporting the LINC over the years. We take pride in bringing the Newnan community closer together. The LINC system of trails physically connects our town, and we want to highlight some of the local business owners throughout Newnan.

Ian Buchanan Interview

We had the opportunity to speak with Ian Buchanan, the manager of Trek Bikes of Newnan. He explained why Newnan was the perfect choice for Trek.

He said, “ Part of the reason that we picked Newnan as a community to open up our third store was Newnan approving the The Linc project in 2017. So that was just kind of a natural fit for us to pick Newnan as the spot for our third location.”

Buchanan expressed his love for Newnan and the LINC. He said, “any time a community decides to value outdoor recreation, you know, getting people out and about moving, connecting different retail districts with […], the neighborhoods, that kind of stuff, it just it encourages people […] to get out of their cars, get on bikes, walk.”

Ian went on to highlight how important the LINC is to the Newnan community. He said, it’s great seeing kids out on scooters, rollerblading, having the LINC, as, you know, kind of a integral part of the community.”

He also spoke about how the LINC connecting Newnan helps the economy in our community.

He said, “It helps a lot of the downtown businesses here. We’ve seen an increase in sales since the LINC has kind of been connecting […] the downtown. It’s allowing more people to ride their bikes […] downtown.”

Buchanan goes on to express how biking is becoming a more popular activity across the country. He said, in the “United States, e-bikes are the fastest growing category of bikes.

And we’ve definitely seen a jump in our sales due to the progress of

the LINC. So I only see that getting better […] the more the

community adds to the project.”

He also speaks about the November election results pointing toward more upcoming additions to the LINC. He said, “ with the approval of the blast on the the election in November, we’re going to start seeing more progress with the LINC being built because now the community has the funding to do so.”

The LINC takes a lot of time, energy, and money, but this is an important project for the entire Newnan community. Ian Buchanan said, “it’s not a cheap project, but it’s it’s one that the community desperately needs.”

He spoke about the ever-growing Newnan community. Ian said, “As communities try to grow, communities like to try and meter that growth and make it manageable. So we’ve been seeing a lot more industry move into into the community of Newnan and Coweta County in general.

And as those companies move in, they need places for their employees to live, work and play and having access to something like the LINC where we’ve got different pocket parks […] along the way […] encourages people to move into this community rather than trying to find somewhere else to live.”

Connecting trail systems have become a more common feature across Georgia. Ian Buchanan talks about this wonderful addition to our local Georgia communities. He said, “we’re seeing it a lot more in kind of surrounding communities.

Peachtree City has their their network of golf cart paths. Carrollton has the Green Belt. Lagrange is building the thread. So, you know, by Newnan participating in that, we’re going to make this a community that more and more people are going to want to move into.”

Abigail Alvarez Interview

We had the pleasure of speaking to Abigail Alvarez with the Pathway Center and Another Way Foundation. Abigail Alvarez has lived in Newnan her whole life and supports the LINC. She is organizing a Pathway Center and Another Way event at the LINC. She said, “we were planning our Pathway Center and another Way Foundation event, which is the No One Walks Alone Suicide Prevention walk, we decided why not host it on this lovely, beautiful LINC trail.”

She shared what this event means for the community and how important it is to raise suicide awareness. Abigail said, No One Walks Alone “is an awareness event about suicide prevention where we get to honor the lives of individuals who have lost their life to suicide in the community and also bring awareness to things that people can do to help to combat that symptoms of mental illness, whether that’s anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide.”

Alvarez shared details about the coping skills her organizations teach to the community. She said, “we have different nonprofits in the area [that] come up and host coping skills stations. We have dance music, our drum circle, […] journaling, so many wonderful things to teach people that […]  there are things you can do at home when you’re starting to feel those symptoms.”

Abigail shares why the LINC is the perfect location for this annual Pathway Center and Another Way event. She said, “It’s on a walking trail, So at any time of the day, completely free because of the generosity of the community in developing the link, you can always get outside, get

some fresh air, take a walk. And that in itself is a coping skill.” “this county and this community is always so supportive of making sure that there are wonderful resources out there for families.”

Alvarez shares what she and her family loves about the LINC. She said, “We’re out here, walking, pushing a stroller.” “I’m hoping that with the splash votes and the things that we’ve seen come out recently,   the supporting community members […] will see the maintenance and maybe even more elements of building trails and beautiful spaces that we can use.”

Pathway Center also provides care throughout Coweta. Abigail said, “we partner with the paramedics and EMS to provide services out in the community. If somebody calls 911 and has a mental health related emergency, we actually are dispatched to the scene.”

Alvarez shares with us the success of the previous Pathway and Another Way events. She said, “We approached the LINC […] asking if we could use the space for the event two years ago.

They generously allowed us to do that. So, we had a wonderful turnout. The first year we had about 300 community members attend.” “the second year, this last September, we doubled that

and had about 600. We were able to raise almost $20,000.”

She shared how this money helps the local community. She said, “all of that money is going back into helping to cover the cost of mental health treatment for people in the

community that are unable to afford that care.”

Abigail expresses how grateful she is for the LINC’s continued support. She said, “we just wanted to really thank the LINC for their generosity in allowing us to use this space.” We hope to continue to use this space.”

Another Way and Pathway Center wanted to show their support for the LINC. Abigail said, “we

sponsored this bench that we hope that people will come out and enjoy. Just taking a seat right here and seeing the skatepark on one side, the playground on the other, the gorgeous trail, [and]  so many children and families enjoying their time out here.”

Enjoying nature and all the LINC has to offer is a great coping skill. Abigial said, “It’s absolutely a coping skill. The skating for the teens and middle school [..] ages, seeing them come out, make friends, laughing, enjoying themselves. That can be their coping skill […] their way of expressing […] some hard things that have been going on in their lives. We are so thankful to be a part of it in this practical way of serving our community.”

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