Andrea Trabelsi’s title with Delaware Greenways is urban and community planner. But these days, her work focuses less on creating maps and writing reports and more on helping folks live healthier lives.
While the nonprofit Delaware Greenways has continued to oversee management of byways and multi-use trails statewide, it has recently turned its focus to promoting healthy and active lifestyles.
As a result, Trabelsi serves as a co-chair for the environment and policy committee of the Delaware Coalition for Healthy Eating and Active Living, which is working to reduce obesity and related chronic diseases in the state. According to Greenways, almost one in every three Delaware adults are overweight or obese.
“I draw my passion from the public health aspect of my work,” Trabelsi says. “That’s where our organization and my profession has a very important role to play.”
Delaware Greenways has been involved with development and preservation of byways, greenways and trails in the First State since 1989, when a group of folks came together to successfully battle the development of Rock Manor, one of the last bastions of open space near Wilmington. The group then helped create the Northern Delaware Greenway, linking parkland between the Delaware River and Brandywine Creek. A hiking and biking trail through the greenway was completed in 2009.
Trabelsi, who enjoys cycling along Kennett Pike and running in White Clay Creek State Park, continues to be involved with projects like the Georgetown to Lewes trail along an old railroad line in Sussex County, the fledgling Newark to Wilmington trail, and the nearly completed Wilmington to New Castle trail.
“To be able to bike from your home in New Castle to a Blue Rocks game is pretty cool,” she says. (delawaregreenways.org)