Trail Board Member Recognized

March 16, 2019



February 18, 2019



Covington, GA – Jill McGiboney recently completed three years of service on the board of directors for Newton Trails. Current board chair Greg Richardson recognized her service saying, “Everyone with an interest in multi-purpose trails in Newton County is grateful for Jill’s service. On behalf of the entire Newton Trails’ community, I thank her for her time, dedication, and good works.”


Jill has lived in Newton County for over 30 years and works in Work Based Learning for the Newton College and Career Academy. She and husband Mark have three children and enjoy camping, hiking, soccer, and travel. She said, “We are blessed to live near the Covington Square so we are able to walk the Cricket Frog Trail, Eastside Trail, Turner Lake Trails, and Oxford Trail.” Jill is a longtime advocate for children and adults with special needs.


During her stint on the board, Jill served as secretary and events coordinator. She contributed to social events, community walks, trail clean-ups, and other activities.


Fellow board members praised Jill for representing Newton Trails at various community events. “Jill’s work setting up and staffing our information table at all sorts of events throughout the year has been a major contribution,” said Lowell Chambers. Cynthia Eagan added, “Seeing Jill talking about trails at just about every community event convinced me to join and eventually get more involved. She will be missed at the Newton Trails’ table."


Though she is leaving the board, Jill will continue volunteering in various ways including serving as Newton Trails’ webmaster.


As she left the board, Jill (JM) graciously responded to a few parting questions from Newton Trails (NT).


NT: Why did you get involved in Newton Trails?

JM: “I saw Sara Vinson and Florian Pohl one day on the Eastside Trail, we talked about the trail system in Newton County and I was very interested. Also, a friend on the board at the time, Hugh Burnett, asked me to consider joining.”


NT: What did you most enjoy about being on the board?

JM: “I enjoyed learning about the different strengths that each board member brings to the group. We are an unpaid board, and I am impressed with the number of volunteer hours people put in for trail maintenance, grant writing, social media marketing, event planning, research, and negotiation with government entities and other non-profits. I also enjoyed attending the Trail Summit in Columbus two years ago. It was fun to meet people who are also advocates of trails in their communities.”


NT: What do you consider Newton Trails' most significant accomplishments during your time on the board?

JM: “When I arrived on the Board, negotiations with Norfolk Southern for leasing the Cricket Frog Trail was in its final stages. I realized the hard work the Board put in acquiring this lease. It was a really big deal and very exciting. The second part was to see a section of the trail through town being paved. I had hoped that the local governments would help in paving, but we are slowly paving one section at time after each fund raising campaign. It is nice to see that local governments have agreed to sign sub-leases to help us maintain the trails in their towns. Our participation in our weekly walks has increased and also the number of volunteers who attend our clean-up days has increased. We appreciate our volunteers and supporters.”


NT: Is there anything you found surprising?

JM: “The amount of trash that people throw out along the trail. We can pick up over 50 bags in one day. I wish folks would practice the rule of packing out any trash they find and always carry in and carry out their trash, recyclables, and food waste.”


NT: What would you like to say to the Newton Trails' community?

JM: “Thank you for all of your hard work. Thanks for the many volunteer hours you put in every week to help maintain the trails and keeping the community informed about the progress of our trail system. Keep moving; I’ll see you on the trails!




* Jill McGiboney works a Newton Trails table at a local event.

* Jill McGiboney (Photo by Sherri Davis)


Media contact: Duane M. Ford, / 608-331-7151







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