Walking with Community
This is a guest blog post by Daniel P. Price, a Walking College graduate from Pennsylvania.
I live just two miles outside of downtown Pottstown in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Like many industrial towns in PA, we’ve struggled over the past 30 years, but yet there was always a beating heart and sense of pride in those that call it home. A lot of that pride can be attributed to how walkable our community it is. Residents walk to neighbors’ homes, they walk to our community gardens, and now they walk to some new downtown restaurants. The ability for walking to bring our community together is what drew me to America Walks & the Walking College Fellowship.
My participation with America Walks existed for a of couple years through their webinars and additional website content. Being a participant in this programming taught me a great deal, but once I learned about the Walking College, it allowed me to be more interactive with the content in a way that is exciting both as a lifelong learner and a community advocate. During this six-month program, I was able to obtain new knowledge, build relationships around the country with other fellows, and create a walking action plan that organized my goals for walkability while also leading to great benefits for my community.
I built my walking action plan around two key goals; inclusion and safety. While our town is very walkable, there is still disconnect between many of the neighborhoods. The goal of inclusion is to bring community members together from various neighborhoods and regions to walk all sections of Pottstown. The goal of safety revolves around improvements of our High St. corridor. While the downtown section has gone through a positive transformation towards walkability, it is only a portion of the 6.5 mile corridor that has steady flow of cars, pedestrians and cyclists. My work with the Walking College has led to me being added to a regional steering committee to address improvements for the entire High St. corridor.
The beauty about walking is that it is an activity mostly all of us can do for health and well-being as well as transportation. America Walks and the Walking College provides passionate individuals with the tools needed to further that cause. As an alum of the Walking College, I am excited to work with past fellows and the America Walks staff to make this an even more incredible experience for future fellows.
Learn more about what Fellows are up to after graduation here. Click here to learn more about the Walking College.