Healthy Savannah’s Armand Turner Elected as Friends of Tide to Town Board President

(SAVANNAH, GA) Friends of Tide To Town, Inc. (TTT) has announced the election of its 2023 board of directors. Chairman Armand Turner will be joined on the executive board by Paula Kreissler, vice chair; Marsha Buford, treasurer; and Kirra Fields, secretary. Board members include Laura Ballock, John Bennett, Caila Brown, Brent Buice, Terry Enoch, John Giordano, Denise Grabowski, Mike Maynor, Jeanine Backman Roach and George Seaborough.

The Friends of Tide to Town was founded in 2018 to lead the community-based engagement, implementation and stewardship of Savannah’s Urban Trail System, through the lens of health and equity.

When completed, the project will include a network of 30+ miles of bikeable and walkable trails connecting more than 60 neighborhoods and 30 schools in Savannah and Chatham County, from downtown to the marshes and waterways.

At the heart of the system is the Truman Linear Park Trail, connecting Lake Mayer to Daffin Park. A three-mile portion has been open since 2020, with the remainder of construction expected to get underway by this summer. The entire project is about six miles long and will link 827 acres of existing parkland in Savannah and Chatham County. Including the Daffin Park trail loop and the Lake Mayer trail loop, the total connected pathway will be approximately 9 miles.

A native of Gary, Ind., Turner is the Physical Activity Program manager for Healthy Savannah and its Racial & Ethnic Approaches to Community Health grant program, co-administered with the YMCA of Coastal Georgia. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a BS in recreation and has served on the Friends of TTT board since 2019.

“I am excited to continue to build and foster activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations that are easily accessible to all people in Savannah and Chatham County,” said Turner. “We are focused on serving Savannah neighborhoods most in need of safety improvements and connecting homes to schools, employment centers, and services.”

In 2018, a portion of the $3.4 million awarded to Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal GA through the CDC’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant was dedicated to the Friends of Tide to Town’s efforts to increase activity friendly routes to everyday destinations, specifically for low wealth African Americans.

As a member of Tide To Town’s REACH Team, Turner, along with fellow board members Denise Grabowski and Laura Ballock, has helped identify and prioritize 10 neighborhoods within the City of Savannah in which efforts to improve connectivity could be concentrated.

Tide To Town, Savannah’s Urban Trail System, will be a protected network of walking and bicycling trails connecting all of Savannah’s neighborhoods, from the heart of the city to its marshes and waterways and serving every aldermanic district. The system has the potential to expand to unincorporated Chatham County, Tybee Island, Garden City, Thunderbolt, Bloomingdale, and Port Wentworth, integrating with long distance walking and bicycling trails. The Tide To Town vision is directly aligned with the City of Savannah’s Strategic Plan, which states that “By 2023… 75 percent of neighborhoods [will be] connected to walking and biking infrastructure (i.e.: trails).”

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA/HEALTHY SAVANNAH GRANT FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH: In September 2018, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia were awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. Awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the funding is being deployed in an “upstream” approach by the Savannah/Chatham County project team to foster sustainable health equity among Black residents in low-wealth neighborhoods. The aim of the local project, called Healthy Opportunities Powering Equity, or HOPE, is to increase the availability of high-quality nutrition; promote physical activity through creating greater access to safe places to walk, run, bike and play; and foster stronger connections between people and the healthcare providers who serve them. Working with more than 200 community partners and organizations, the team is committed to elevating the health and wellness of the community through policy, systems, and environmental change. In July 2022, Healthy Savannah received the CDC’s 2022 REACH Lark Galloway-Gilliam Award for Advancing Health Equity Challenge. The award recognizes extraordinary individuals and entities whose work has contributed to advancing health equity.

Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.

Scroll to Top