Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) recently received one of the 19 Community Change Grants awarded by America Walks for use in 2020. The grant provides funds to support grassroots efforts aimed at creating safe, accessible and enjoyable community places, according to a press release. The program is 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.
The selection committee had over 400 applications for projects that demonstrated passion, creativity and commitment of local walking champions, and they picked CALS to be a part of the winning group. Award winners will work with America Walks and other partners to successfully complete their projects and share their lessons with other community change agents, according to a press release. 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,” says Kate Kraft, executive director. “We are excited to work with these communities and use their efforts and stories to encourage other walking champions.”
CALS will install a permanent story walk at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, according to a press release. The story walk will enhance the existing walking trail at the library. Book pages will be placed in display signs along the trail, inviting patrons to follow the path of the story. Mile markers will be placed on each sign allowing participants to measure the distance walked. The story walk will include literature focused on health, wellness, and fitness, according to a press release.
“The story walk is a fun way to connect the love of learning and reading to physical activity,” says Ellen Samples, CALS youth services coordinator.. “Wellness has been an important part of the library’s goals. Over the last year, we’ve offered more opportunities for library users to get active, learn about healthy eating, and even attend meditation sessions.”
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.
The Central Arkansas Library System includes 14 branch libraries located in Little Rock, Perryville, and throughout Pulaski County. CALS has the largest research collection in central Arkansas. Most of its more than one million items may be reserved online and picked up at any branch that is convenient to the patron. Library Square, the library system’s downtown Little Rock campus, includes the Main Library, as well as the Ron Robinson Theater, the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art, and the Bookstore at Library Square.