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Six community organizations to get neighbors moving

November 2, 2015

‘Walkability’ grant recipients to pinpoint barriers to walking in our communities, make improvement plans

When more people get moving, rates of preventable, chronic disease goes down. But sometimes lack of safe access to walking areas gets in the way. Six community organizations will get grants to improve walkability in six areas.

TACOMA, Wash. –
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has awarded six grants of $10,000 to community organizations to help promote more walking in local neighborhoods.

The money comes from a (amount) state Department of Health chronic disease prevention grant that promotes activities that lead to better health.

“Walking is a form of exercise that most everyone can do, but sometimes lack of safe areas for walking gets in the way,” said Miae Aramori, Physical Activity, Nutrition and Tobacco program manager for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. “We want to help organizations figure out how they can overcome the barriers to walking in their communities, so more people can get moving.”

The community organizations that receive the grants will work with their neighbors between now and September 2016 to conduct assessments and develop plans to increase walkability in their neighborhoods. “When the level of physical activity goes up, rates of chronic disease eventually goes down,” said Aramori.

The following organizations received $10,000 each:

  • Pierce Conservation District— Start walking groups, increased signage to promote walking in Salishan, Swan Creek and Food Forest areas.
  • City of Tacoma/Healthy Homes, Healthy Neighborhoods—Start walking groups in Hilltop and Lincoln neighborhoods.
  • Foundation for Healthy Generations/Salishan Community Health Advocates program—Start walking groups in the Salishan neighborhood.
  • Asia Pacific Cultural Center—Start walking groups and walkathons in the South Tacoma neighborhood.
  • Habitat for Humanity— Start walking groups in the Midland neighborhood.
  • Know Your Ropes— Start walking groups, painted pathways and maps to increase physical activity in Hilltop.
To kick off the work, Dan Burden and Samantha Thomas, walkability experts from BlueZones, will present best practices for walkable communities and walking audits at a workshop on Nov. 10 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center. Karen Meyers, community liaison at the Health Department will also discuss best practices of community engagement. BlueZones helps people live longer, better lives through practical environmental changes that can improve quality of life.

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager
(253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822 (cell/text),

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