Outdoor advocate Dr. Wally Bigbee has received the highest service award given by the Tennessee Trails Association.
The association presented Bigbee with the Bob Brown Lifetime Achievement Award. The recognition honors extraordinary contributions to hiking and conservation in Tennessee. TTA presents this award periodically, only when it’s merited.
“We need more places for people to get outdoors and get active,” said Bigbee. “I’m greatly concerned because Tennessee has among the least active people in the nation and our nation is among the least active in the world. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of exercise five times a week and a muscle-resistant exercise such as weight lifting two times a week. You can see significant health improvement with just 30 minutes of exercise a day.”
Bigbee has spent a lifetime encouraging the use of outdoors and its conservation. He has been active in building and maintaining trails at Cardwell Mountain, Rock Island, Cumberland Trail, Short Springs, Edgar Evans, Tims Ford, Old Stone Fort and Short Springs Natural Area.
These areas encourage people to get outdoors and exercise which, in turn, helps reduce obesity.
“Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, depression, and several cancers, including colon cancer,” said Bigbee. “Plus, being outdoors helps to brighten the spirit.”
An avid supporter of the Boy Scouts of America for 47 years, he served as an assistant scout master for 15 years. His sons, Wally Jr., Randy and Ricky all earned their Eagle Scout awards.
He was on the State Conservation Commission for 12 years, the last three years of which he was chair. For three years he was on the State Conservation Commissioner’s Council for Greenways and Trails.
Bigbee and his wife, Pat, have been members of the Highland Rim Chapter of the Tennessee Trails for several years.
Locally, Bigbee is on the McMinnville Greenway Council and is a member of the Friends of the Greenway. He and other volunteers are working on a trail along the Barren Fork River extending from Ramsey Park to Rocket Park. To lend a helping hand in this ongoing effort, call 473-5968.
The Tennessee Trails Association is a 500-member, nonprofit organization formed in 1968 with the mission to promote the development of a statewide system of hiking trails. Bob Brown was one of three founding member of this organization and a tireless advocate for physical fitness.
For more information call 1-888-445-3882 or visit www.tennesseetrails.org.
Bigbee, who moved to McMinnville in 1960 with his family, was a family practitioner until his retirement in 1998.