City of Takoma Park Receives Community Change Grant from America Walks
Takoma Park, MD – City of Takoma Park is honored to receive one of the 19 Community Change Grants awarded by America Walks for use in 2020. The program, now in its fifth year and supported by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Lyft, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD), Oregon Walks, and WalkBoston, provides funds that support grassroots efforts aimed at creating safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and move. Read the entire Press Release here.
Takoma Park Safe Routes to School envisions a one mile themed sensory/fitness route titled “Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes.” The route intersects with two elementary schools and one middle school, Takoma Park Community Center and Library and Takoma-Piney Branch Local Park. Students, teachers, and parents can begin the route at any point to enjoy a 15-30 minute walk enhanced with fitness activities and themed exercises. Pavement markings will be stenciled with paint or pre-made decals.
The proposed messaging will relate to inclusion, mindfulness, and kindness while the fitness prompts to engage the walkers in bursts of activity.
- For example, users may be prompted to do five jumping jacks and with each one say something kind about someone.
Students today, especially in Takoma Park, have the advantage of growing up in an era marked with;
- increased tolerance,
- acceptance, and
- understanding of differences in race, gender, or ability.
However, we still struggle as a nation to address equity. The themed-route, “Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes,” provides a safe space for dialogue and exploration of these issues. Using the route together as a class, family, or group of friends gives walkers a break from the routine and a time to move forward, both physically and emotionally. The planned route is ADA compliant.