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Posted on: August 17, 2023

Council names section of greenway in honor of Rick Rash

Rick Rash obituary photo

City of Lenoir Council named a section of the Lenoir Greenway as "Rick Rash Trail" Tuesday night, Aug. 15, 2023. The trail honors former City employee and long-time recreation advocate Rick Rash, who passed away earlier this year.

Rick Rash worked for the City of Lenoir Parks & Recreation Department for 36 years from 1967 to 1970 and 1972 to 2004. He was an active member of the Caldwell Pathways Board of Directors from its beginning in the early 2000s, serving until his passing in January. He spent most of his time with the City serving at the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center.

Mayor Joe Gibbons read a proclamation naming the trail during the meeting Tuesday, and presented the proclamation to Rick's wife, Kaye. Mayor Gibbons also gave Kaye a mock Rick Rash Trail sign to take home. The full resolution is below.

"I had the honor and pleasure of growing up with Rick Rash. I knew him all my life," Mayor Gibbons said. "We both lived on Sharon Avenue. I lived on the south end, he lived on the north end. We were all known as the Sharon Road Boys ... we all played together ... and grew up together. Rick was a fine gentlemen. We miss him and appreciate all that he did. He was a great leader in our community."

Rick Rash Trail is the greenway loop beginning at the northernmost parking lot on Zacks Fork Road running south to Powell Road. From there, the trail  returns north along the gravel path by the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center. A map showing the trail is below.

Sam Sturgis, former Parks & Recreation Director for the City, hired Rick Rash when Rick started working for the City. Sam said he enjoyed working with Rick during their three decades together.

"I worked with Rick for 30 some odd years," Sturgis said. "Rick was a good man, and it’s quite an honor for the City and Recreation Department to recognize him at this point in time. Thank you [Council], for all you have done for the City and you have done for our recreation department facilities.

Several Caldwell Pathways Board members attended the meeting to show their support and appreciation for Rick Rash's many years of service to the organization.

Kaye Rash said was surprised by the presentation Tuesday, but that she appreciated the recognition for her late husband.

"Thank you," Kaye Rash said.

The City of Lenoir Greenway offers more than 9 miles of path and trails for outdoor activities including running, walking, cycling, and mountain biking. These trails include the main greenway, the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park, and the greenway on Morganton Boulevard. The Zacks Fork Bike Trail offers nearly 3 miles of off-road trail for mountain biking. Click the following link for more information including parking and a map of the greenway, Lenoir Greenway.

Click the following link to read Rick Rash's obituary, Richard James Rash, August 31, 1950 – January 5, 2023.

Mayor Joe Gibbons and City Council presented a resolution naming "Rick Rash Trail" and a trail sign to Kaye Rash Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. Pictured from left: Caldwell Pathways Board Member Brian Haile, Mayor Pro Tem Crissy Thomas, Caldwell Pathways Board Member Rebecca Hites, City Manager Scott Hildebran, Parks & Recreation Director Phil Harper, Sam Sturgis, Councilman Ralph Prestwood, Kaye Rash, Councilman Todd Perdue, Caldwell Pathways Board Member John Dockery, Mayor Joe Gibbons, Caldwell Pathways Board Member Christopher Washburn, Councilman Ike Perkins, Caldwell Pathways Board Member Jack Brown, Councilman David Stevens, Councilman Jonathan Beal, and Caldwell Pathways Board Member Tim Greene.

Proclamation Honoring Rick Rash and Naming “Rick Rash Trail”

WHEREAS, Richard James Rash, was born and raised in Lenoir and Caldwell County and gave many decades of service to his family, friends, neighbors, and community; and

WHEREAS, Richard, better known as Rick, was a faithful employee of the City of Lenoir serving 36 years from 1967 to 1970 and 1972 to 2004 as a Recreation Specialist, Recreation Supervisor, and Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center Supervisor; and

WHEREAS, Rick was a proud veteran of the U.S. Army and served eight years with the American Red Cross; and 

WHEREAS, during this three decades of service in recreation, Rick taught unknown numbers of local children how to lifeguard, how to swim, and how to safely enjoy aquatic activities; and

WHEREAS, Rick was a founding member of Caldwell County Pathways and was an active member of the Pathways Board of Directors from its inception serving until his passing in January this year; and 

WHEREAS, during his tenure on the Board, Pathways helped expand trail opportunities in Lenoir and Caldwell County and worked to promote outdoor activities and health and wellness opportunities for the community; and

WHEREAS, Rick was loved and respected in Lenoir and the community and was known as always being kind, generous, helpful, friendly, and caring. 

NOW THEREFORE, I, Joseph L. Gibbons, Mayor, on behalf of the City of Lenoir Council, do hereby proclaim that the greenway loop beginning at the northernmost parking lot on Zacks Fork Road running south to Powell Road and returning north along the gravel path by the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center be officially named as

“Rick Rash Trail”

In honor and remembrance of Rick’s dedication and service to the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center, the City of Lenoir, Caldwell County Pathways, and to his devotion to the community and people he loved.

This the 15th day of August 2023.

Joseph L. Gibbons, Mayor

Rick Rash Trail is the greenway loop beginning at the northernmost parking lot on Zacks Fork Road running south to Powell Road and returning north along the gravel path by the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center.

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