Leadership Lufkin Class No. 37 recently held a ribbon cutting at the Texas Forestry Museum to present the two projects the class has worked on over the last several months — a GaGa pit for the city of Lufkin at Brandon Park, and a nature playscape at the museum. The goal for these class projects was to increase outdoor play for children in the community.

GaGa is a fast-paced, high-energy version of dodgeball. Played in an octagonal pit, the game combines the skills of dodging, striking, running and jumping as players use a soft foam ball to tag opponents below the knees.

The nature playscape is a playground carefully created to facilitate outdoor play in a way that encourages risk-taking, exploration and hands-on learning. This colorful park includes a GaGa pit, a music melody wall, rainbow stepping stumps, a pebble art path, a messy materials section, a bird watching area with seating and the Dilynn and Jace Creel sensory path.

Dilynn and Jace Creel lost their lives in the tornado that swept through Central on April 13. The Leadership Lufkin class wanted to honor the boys by dedicating the sensory path activity in their memory.

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments has been awarded a 2019 Excellence in Regional Transportation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for DETCOG’s Transportation Voucher Program.

NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based association that promotes programs and policies to strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies. The Excellence in Regional Transportation Awards showcase organizations for noteworthy projects and practices in rural and small metropolitan transportation planning, program delivery and special initiatives.

For more information about the award-winning project, call DETCOG at (409) 384-5704.

For many families dealing with high energy bills, paying those bills can be overwhelming. Assistance with those bills may be available to families in Angelina County.

Greater East Texas Community Action Program is utilizing federal LIHEAP funding for households who qualify. Individuals are seen by appointment. To inquire or request help, call (800) 621-5746. The request is also found at get-cap.org.