Back in July, NRPA’s Director of Strategic Health Initiatives, Zarnaaz Bashir wrote this blog post about the importance of walking in America and the U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action on walking. As part of the Call to Action, the Every Body Walk! Collaborative was formulated.
The collaborative, of which NRPA is an active member, recently convened at the first ever national Walking Summit in Washington, DC. The summit gathered hundreds of people from many different disciplines and industries to exchange ideas, share solutions and set priorities for the nation about walking.
The great news is community parks and recreation continues to be recognized and viewed as a key component for improving health and getting people active through walking.
In fact, KCET-TV, the nation’s largest independent public television station and their unique six-part series called City Walk developed a video that “takes you center stage and behind the scenes of the Walking Summit meeting the leaders, planners and developers dedicated to bringing the country literally back on its feet.” In the video, a voice for parks and recreation can be heard!
NRPA's Zarnaaz Bashir talks about how parks are part of the health solution
Another outcome from the summit is a brief report brochure that provides a summary of the meeting, survey findings about Americans and their viewpoints on walking as well as resources for community leaders and citizens alike to help boost and support walking. One interesting finding (pointed out in the video too) is that 72 percent of Americans say walking is cool! That is a pretty cool finding.
Review the brochure and see what you can glean from it as you work to lead your communities to healthier lifestyles. Think about ways you can get more involved in promoting walkable communities and championing walking programs that get people moving.
There is more to come on walking from the Collaborative and the U.S. Surgeon General and NRPA will be keeping you informed about this effort and how you and your agency can be involved.
What are some ways community parks and recreation can support and encourage more walking locally? How are you promoting walking among your community? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @NRPA_News.