Being a national nonprofit that advances safe, equitable, accessible, and enjoyable communities, supporting local advocacy is imperative. Hearing the voices of individual communities and supporting their specific needs is the best and most effective way to increase walkability. America Walks is proud to adopt the Walk2Connect program and continue the amazing on-the-ground work with frontline communities.
For many years, Walk2Connect has worked independently to nurture local leadership in frontline communities by providing Walking Movement Leader trainings, Program Launch/Kick-off/Themed Weekends, Volunteer Support and Technical Assistance, etc. Much of this work has been accomplished through mutually beneficial partnerships with local government agencies, mission-aligned non-profits, and private foundations. Below are a handful of examples of what can be accomplished through Walk2Connect.
As a program of America Walks, Walk2Connect seeks to develop additional partnerships like these – please contact us for more information.
Transportation Departments or Agencies (state, regional, county, local)
City of Boulder, Colorado
The multi-year partnership assisted the city’s Transportation and Mobility Department in building the Boulder Walks program and strengthened the community of urban walkers through Walking Movement Leader trainings, expert-led curated events for winter and summer walk/bike months, expert-led walk audits for core arterial network improvements, expert-led walks with Council, technical assistance and storytelling during the development of the Pedestrian Master Plan, Safe Routes to School – youth engagement research, and much more.
National Foundations and nonprofits
AARP Livable Communities, Wisconson and Minnesota
With a focus on pedestrian safety, public health, and livable communities, AARP Wisconsin hired Jonathon Stalls to host a series of Pedestrian Dignity events, Walk2Connect Walking Movement Leader training sessions, and WALK book talks. This partnership worked directly with community residents, local mobility advocates, local planners and engineers, students, elected leaders, and more across the state of Wisconsin (specifically Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, Wauwatosa, and La Crosse). Jonathon returned in April of 2023 to host additional events and “walkshops” in Wisconsin. He was also sponsored by AARP Minnesota to host Pedestrian Dignity walking/rolling events and a Walk2Connect Walking Movement Leader training (Twin Cities).
Denver Public Library, Colorado
For several years we have worked with local Denver Public Library branches and the Older Adult Program (serving all of the branches) to host a variety of events focused on cross-neighborhood connection, local history, the benefits of walking, pedestrian safety, author talks, nature themes, and more.
Public Health/Healthcare Nonprofits
Kodiak Area Native Association, Alaska
The partnership helped plan, design, launch, and support a whole-health walking community in the greater Kodiak region. This involved campaign and brand creation built out of local and universal tools, development of outreach strategy, training of Walking Movement Leaders, site visits to launch programs, and long-term technical assistance and support.
Healthcare Departments (State/local)
Maryland Department of Health, Maryland
Maryland Department of Health, Chronic Disease and Prevention and Control division partners with Walk2COnnect to promote walking as a community strategy to address population health, strengthen community promotion of physical activity, and enhance walkability within 9 rural communities, plus Baltimore.
Richland County Public Health, Ohio
Our partnership with Richland County Public Health in Mansfield, Ohio was one of our first community launch projects. We started with months of planning around a full launch weekend including two walking movement leader training sessions, a series of public community walks, and more. The “Just Walk Richland” community program sponsored by the public health department became a signature partnership for sustained community programming alongside Walk2Connect. Their program continues on with part-time support from public health staff. A few years after the launch, we hosted a train-the-trainer virtual training to empower their team to train new/interested walking leaders.
Greenways and Conservations Organizations
High Line Canal Conservancy, Colorado
Through its commitment to enhance and protect the 71-mile trail in Colorado, the Conservancy partnered with Walk2Connect throughout the years to deliver educational walking programs along the Canal, contribute to the High Line Canal Guide, activate communities along the route to access a safe and welcoming outdoor space, and also to expand their ambassador’s network by training walking movement leaders.
Spring Institute, Colorado
Our multi-year partnership with the Spring Institute focused on walking/movement programming on cross-cultural connection, public health, community networking, resource sharing, and much more. We co-created walking/movement events in a variety of neighborhoods. Many of our events had interpretations available and were designed to be family-friendly – kids, older adults, etc.
Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area, Colorado
Along with rural nonprofits in Colorado’s San Luis Valley (San Luis Valley Great Outdoors, Move Mountains Project of San Luis, and more), we partnered with the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area to promote, train and support summer youth walking leader cohorts. Youth walking leaders were stipend for their time to develop a menu of connection-focused walking/movement events focused on local heritage, nature conservation, and leadership development. Our San Luis Valley youth walking leader program was one-of-a-kind. Youth was a part of designing the public walking event schedule from the very beginning.
Downtown Development Authorities and Business Improvement Districts
Longmont Downtown Development Authority, Colorado
Walk2Connect has served as a contractor on numerous occasions to lead walks in certain urban areas, including in Longmont, Colorado, to improve foot traffic to local historic districts, to showcase environmental improvements, and to get to know the small business that makes downtown a community. Some of the themed walks included: Jane’s Walks in memory of urbanist Jane Jacobs, improved alleyways and breezeways, urban living options, art, historic district designation, scavenger hunts, and the popular holiday cheer.
The West Colfax Business Improvement District, Colorado
The West Colfax Business Improvement District seeks to revitalize West Colfax Avenue as Denver’s sustainable Main Street. WCBID partnered with Walk2Connect to lead a community-wide experiential walk (walk audit) along the Colfax viaduct, where the Avenue meets and crosses the busy Interstate I25. The walk brought together not only community members that work, live, learn and play in the area, but also advocates that seek pedestrian and bike mobility and executive decision-makers from the Colorado Department of Transportation.