Every Body Walk! Micro Grants Awarded
America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative are excited to announce the awarding of our ten micro grants in support of the Call to Action.
This new micro grant program was designed to assist local walking advocates build on the momentum of the newly released Surgeon General’s Call to Action. This one time award will fund 10-15 community groups up to $2,500.00 for activities designed to increase local walking programming and stimulate community demand for infrastructure improvements that provide accessible, safe walkable places for the entire community.
We had an overwhelming response to the application with over 500 innovative and inspiring projects from across the country submitted.
The awards went to the following ten communities:
Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork (Bigfork, MT)
The project is a revise entry way and signage to the “Swan River Nature Trail.” This is a two mile trailhead at the east end of town. It is now time to reconfigure the entry way, along with paving and signage to make it easier for all to see and enter.
This gated 2-mile long trail, non motorized section overlooks the rushing white waters of Swan River’s “WildMile”. scene of May “Whitewater” kayak races. Walkers, bikers, skiers and horseback riders use this trail on a daily basis throughout the entire year.
Norwalk Health Department (Norwalk, CT)
Through this project, the Norwalk Health Department, AmeriCares Free Clinics, Inc., and their community partners are working to update and redesign a collection of community walking routes and promote their use throughout the City of Norwalk.
Funding from this grant opportunity will support a community kick-off event, scheduled to correspond with the American Heart Association’s Start Walking Day in April 2016. At this event, the Workgroup will hold community walks utilizing one or more NorWalker routes, inviting the public, local officials, and media partners to join Workgroup members and volunteers. This event will encourage people to get moving and will raise awareness about the NorWalker routes.
Byram Township Parks and Recreation (Stanhope, NJ)
Several initiatives including: begin a Kids Walk program, increase involvement in Adult Walkin’ Wednesday Program, hire a leader to coordinate with school officials, organize, advertise and implement the Kids Walk Program that encourages students to walk home from school using the trail constructed between the school and a nearby neighborhood and to encourage other children to walk regularly.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (Charleston, WV)
Building upon the success of the Kanawha Coalition for Community Health Improvement’s Take the Stairs Kanawha County! campaign, conducted in April 2015, permanent signage will be installed at key stair locations throughout the County. KCCHI will also engage employees in walking activities by providing training on worksite walking club development and conducting walkability audits surrounding participating worksites. The campaign would take place over a six week period during spring 2016. A successful Every Body Walk! campaign will engage at least 30 worksites and over 15,000 employees.
Eat Smart Move More Barnwell County (Barnwell, SC)
The program will include funds to repair fencing on the backside of the track (to keep out visiting animals–dogs, foxes, deer, etc.); supplies and materials to improve the aesthetics around the track–to include a bench, flowers/plants; and funds for the Let’s Go Walk! media campaign and kickoff event.
Walk Worthington (Worthington, OH)
The proposed project will build upon the success of Walk Worthington’s inaugural year and expand walking in our community by providing greater incentives for the average resident to lace up their shoes and walk!
Over this past summer, Walk Worthington was started as a series of 26 community walks, including healthcare talk-and-walks with the Library, yoga walks, neighborhood history walks, and weekly walks prior to local concerts. Participation ranged from three to 40 people for each walk. While the project experienced significant success for its first year, we want to significantly increase the number of participants and quality of programming in year two.
Parks Arts Leisure and Seniors (PALS) (Corpus Christi, TX)
Partnering with the Corpus Christi Parks and Recreation Department (CCPARD) and the Mayor’s Fitness Council (MFC), PALS will start a community walking program to encourage residents to develop walking clubs with their neighbors. The goals of the project will be two-fold: (1) encourage physical activity in a safe and social setting; (2) collect information from walking leaders and groups about the walkability of their neighborhoods and nearby parks. A walking resource guide will be developed to help walking leaders create walking teams, map out walking routes for their respective groups, report activity to the MFC and provide feedback regarding the walkability of their neighborhood and nearby parks. This resource guide will be available on the MFC website at www.ccmayorsfitnesscouncil.com and promoted via social media, visits on local news programs, presentations at local and community organization meetings and through the marketing program of the CCPARD. In addition, CCPARD has committed to shepherding the program by seeding walking clubs with participants at five (5) of its recreation and senior centers, as well as identifying a staff member to collecting, collating and sharing information collected from walking leaders. Working with the MFC, PALS will celebrate milestones of walking groups and recognize them at the Council’s annual Kites and Bikes Festival (geared towards getting people outdoors and active).
Walking leaders will also be connected with Corpus Christi Park Development and Planning professionals to develop way-finding signs and markings throughout their neighborhoods and nearby parks. Walk leaders will be encouraged to track their walking routes on the Strava App so data can be incorporated into planning documents. The MFC and CCPARD work closely with the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in the development of multi-model transportation plans and all walkability information will be shared with the MPO as it begins evaluating pedestrian mobility within Corpus Christi.
Humane Society of Greater Kansas City (Kansas City, KS)
The objectives of our project, Pack Walk! are to 1) strengthen and increase the visibility of the regularly scheduled pack walks established by the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City’s (HSGKC’s) Dog Behavior Enrichment Group (BEG) through a social media and radio and television marketing campaign, and 2) provide community education and free leash/collar supplies to engage and encourage our low income and minority veterinary clients to walk their dogs. We want to continue connecting with our community and city partners to make our community a more walkable place.
Latino Kids Health (Montebello, CA)
LK Health is proposing to implement a “Walk While You Wait Program (WY Wait)” at our health center to encourage patients who are sitting in the waiting room to take a stroll around the block and walk off the waiting time—returning when they are next in line to see the doctor. The invitation to “WY Wait” is voluntary and will be coordinated with a health center staff member who will lead the group, provide water and motivational talking points to the participants about the health benefits of walking.
The program will be implemented twice a month on Mondays, when the health center is the busiest. Staff will coordinate two-30 minute sessions—one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The program has been tested for acceptability using a test group of patients in the waiting room who indicated they would be active participants. They wanted to start right away!!
Walla Walla County Department of Community Health (Walla Walla, WA)
With volunteer support from the HEAL coalition and donated staff time from the Department of Community Health, we will recruit 10-20 Latina women from one of our lower-income neighborhoods to participate in a walking club. Utilizing a Community Based Participatory approach, the project will strive to empower these women to meet on a regular basis to walk together, with the goals of increasing their own physical activity and working toward change in their neighborhood.
A few months into the project, the group will participate in a Walk Audit of their neighborhood. This audit allows the group to determine where to place “Walk Your City” signs which encourage walking to different local points of interest. In order to fully allow for community-based participation, the group will also decide together how to spend the amount of $800 in their neighborhood. This money will be utilized to further walking and walkability, whether through the purchase of more walking signs, a park bench, or a different project chosen by the group.