Dover Greenway Essay by Lila Hovey

Making a Real Connection

The swish of bike tires over rustling fallen leaves, the repetitive thud of athletes bouncing soccer balls, the determined footsteps of jogging parents, the soft jingle of laughing kids- these will be the sounds of the Dover Greenway. It will be a lot of things- a bike path, a way to walk to school, a short cut to playing fields- but its purpose is much simpler- to bring the town of Dover together. A community is more than a set of people living in close proximity; it’s like a family, a group that is committed to helping each other. By providing a literal connection between many aspects of town life- school, athletics, worship, fun- the Dover Greenway will also connect the people who use it.

The Dover Greenway will promote community by encouraging people to strengthen bonds with each other. It’s much more fun to walk with friends than by yourself, so the Greenway will be abuzz with people’s voices. Using a cellphone to text or play games is much harder while walking, so teens will be encouraged to have more face time than screen time. By being accessible to all age ranges, the Greenway will bring families together. Because it will be flat and relatively smooth, even babies in strollers or seniors who have trouble walking will feel comfortable on the path. Instead of being separated by the seats of a car, families will be able to talk while walking into town or to church together. Residents will be inclined to walk into Dover Center to get a cup of coffee at the Dover Deli or ice cream at the Taffy Café, bolstering the town’s businesses. Chances are, they’d meet someone they know on the way, too. By strengthening bonds between friends and family, the Greenway will bring all of Dover together.

By providing an easy location for physical exercise, the Greenway will help Dover maintain a healthy lifestyle. Every day it would be used by packs of power-walking moms, biking dads, and training athletes. Although Dover is a relatively small town, many roads are treacherous for the casual biker or jogger. People who would like to exercise may not be doing so because they don’t feel like they have a safe place to do it. The Greenway will be that place- even those who aren’t walking along it for the exercise will inadvertently be burning calories! Exercise can help people feel more confident and releases endorphins, making people feel happy. By providing a place for exercise, the Greenway would be strengthening community from the ground up.

The Dover Greenway project will transform something disused into a path linking the community of Dover together. By being useful for young and old, athletes and shoppers, the Greenway will be utilized by everyone in Dover. By physically connecting places important in all of our lives, the Dover Greenway will help us all make real connections- with ourselves, each other, and our community.