Velo Paso Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition 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.
Velo Paso was selected from over 400 applications for projects that demonstrate the passion, creativity, and commitment of local walking champions. Awardees will work with America Walks and other partners to successfully complete their projects and share their lessons with other community change agents. While the projects and programs work to improve walkability, the results of each grant will have a positive change on many areas of that community.
“At a time when pedestrian fatalities are at an all-time high and communities continue to try and find ways to be healthy, these grants provide support to those doing the hard, inspiring work at the local level,” said Executive Director Kate Kraft. “We are excited to work with these communities and use their efforts and stories to encourage other walking champions.”
Velo Paso will be teaming up with Rosa Guerrero Elementary School to create a Safe Routes to School pilot program that we hope will encourage and enable the Rosa Guerrero students, of whom over 90% are currently driven to school, to be able to safely walk or ride their bikes to school. Velo Paso and the school's leadership will be working with the students and parents to conduct walkability assessments, engage in wayfinding to identify safe routes, and train both the parent volunteers and students to walk and/or bike safely to the school.
With all the pedestrian safety concerns faced by our community, we felt this was the perfect opportunity to not only address concerns about children being able to walk to school safely, but to also help the children (and their parents) get more physically active. We hope our work with Rosa Guerrero will not only prove beneficial to the school and it's students and allow them to walk and bike safely to school, but that we will be able to replicate our efforts and help even more schools create their own Safe Routes to School programs in the future.
About America Walks: America Walks is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing communities and advocates the resources to advance safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active for all. The organization provides its diverse network of over 30,000 advocates and hundreds of local, state, and national organizations, with the tools, resources, and experts needed to build capacity, gain experiences, and successfully promote walking and walkability. Learn more at www.americawalks.org
About Velo Paso: Velo Paso-Bicycle Pedestrian Coalition promotes healthy/active transportation across the Paso del Norte region, through education, outreach and advocacy. For more information, please visit www.velopaso.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Community Change Grant Press Release