Monday, April 27, 2009

Walk CT to be featured in Westfield

A new state-wide program to promote walking for both recreation and transportation is getting off the ground this year in Connecticut, and Middletown is a pilot program. Walk CT is a program being developed by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, whose headquarters are in Middletown, on Washington Street. Jennifer Benner, who is working for CFPA to coordinate the Walk CT program, told me it consists of three primary elements:
  1. A web-based guide to the walking routes in Connecticut. This web site is under construction now, the goal is to have in a single, easy-to-find location all of the paths and trails for walking (two example walking routes)
  2. Family Rambles are family-friendly hikes on the last weekend of every month. One hike is to be offered in every county. Family Rambles are listed on the CFPA web site.
  3. Walking as an integral part of a city. The goal of this program is to bring together all of the elements of the city, including municipal governance, schools, civic organizations, etc, to foster walking for pleasure and transportation. Middletown is the pilot city for this program!
Benner said that WalkCT organizers are holding meetings with city officials about fostering walking in our city. Besides the obvious benefits for health and the environment, Benner pointed to the commerce that can result from walking as a tourist attraction. With many Connecticut families staying close to home for vacation (staycation), she said that such events as garden walks and history walks could attract a lot of visitors to Middletown.

Tonight at the Westfield Residents Association quarterly meeting, Walk CT Director Leslie Lewis will give a presentation on all aspects of the program, focusing in particular on the efforts to promote walking in Middletown. Everybody is welcome to attend the WRA meetings.
WRA Quarterly Meeting
Monday, April 27,
3rd Congregational Church, Miner Street
7:00 PM (WRA business)
7:30 PM (Public Meeting)
Leslie Lewis, WalkCT Director

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