Merck Foundation grant will complete Lake Wilson trail


September 20, 2016

Visitors to Lake Wilson will soon be able to walk a trail completely around the lake, thanks to a grant from the Merck Foundation.

Kelly Brna, Merck-Wilson Plant Manager and Rob Ferrell, Merck-Wilson Community Outreach Lead presented a check for $50,000 to the Wilson City Council during its meeting Thursday night.

The money will be used to improve and complete a walking trail around the lake, including construction of a bridge that will connect the north and south shores. The trail will pass through the disc golf course on the north shore.

“The City of Wilson is extremely grateful to Merck and its employees for this donation to improve recreation opportunities,” said Wilson Mayor Bruce Rose. “Merck has shown time and again to be a great corporate partner with the Wilson community.”

Employees from Merck’s Wilson plant will provide some of the manpower to clear brush and debris. Volunteers will also help build a gravel pathway. The path is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

“The overriding goal of Merck Wilson’s Community Outreach Program is to improve the quality of life and the environment in the surrounding area,” said Merck-Wilson Plant Manager Kelley Brna.  “We are doing this by leveraging Merck’s financial generosity and the site’s human capital to strengthen our relationship and involvement in the community.”

Once complete, the trail will allow people to park in the lots off Lake Wilson Road and walk a circuit of a little over two miles.

A city-funded survey in 2009 found city residents wanted more places for walking and other passive recreational amenities. The city’s recreation staff has been working to improve walking trails in several city locations, including Lake Wilson, but this donation of both money and volunteer manpower is expected to help finish this project.

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global healthcare company headquartered in Kenilworth, N.J., and operating in more than 140 countries. It employs around 68,000 people worldwide.

Established in 1957, Merck’s Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is its chief source of funding support for both eligible nonprofit organizations and innovative programs that are aligned with two focus areas, health and community. The Foundation added a Neighbor of Choice program in the 1990s that targets communities where Merck has facilities. Its grants are intended to promote a healthier society and preserve the environment.

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