America Walks Micro Grant Program For More Walkable Communities
The America Walks micro grant program aims to accelerate implementation of effective strategies to promote walking and create safe, walkable places.
Editor’s Note: Updated June 27, 2018.
America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative are pleased to announce a new micro grant program designed to assist local walking advocates build on the momentum of the newly released Surgeon General’s Call to Action. This one time award will fund 10-15 community groups up to $2500.00 for activities designed to increase local walking programming and stimulate community demand for infrastructure improvements that provide accessible, safe walkable places for the entire community. Grant applications (link below) are due by 5:00pm EDT on October 15, 2015.
A growing literature continues to document the multiple benefits of walking for individuals and the advantages of developing walkable places for communities. The strength of this evidence and the promise of these benefits have propelled walking to the top of the list of public health strategies that can prevent disease and improve population health, as indicated in the recent Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking and Walkability. Likewise, the conditions that support safe, routine walking also reduce injuries and deaths from avoidable automobile crashes while helping to create vibrant downtowns.
After decades of engineering dominated by the needs of the automobile, most communities do not lend themselves to safe, convenient, accessible and routine walking. Reversing past designs and creating the conditions for safe, inclusive and routine walking is complex, requires collaboration across a variety of sectors, organizations, governmental departments and takes time. However, numerous communities and thousands of individuals are raising the publics awareness about the benefits of walking and pushing targeted strategies to create more safe walkable places.
To make and keep walking and walkability a priority in neighborhoods and communities, a strong, connected group of local activist and dedicated organizations is needed. This micro grant program is designed to assist those groups and organizations in setting priorities and implementing targeted projects to get them started.
Micro Grant Details
Micro Grant Applicants
Successful micro grant applicants will have an existing focus on walking and walkability. Applicants may be part of a host organization or a stand–alone non-profit. They must have a formalized structure, organized plan of priorities and accountable leadership.
Micro Grant Projects
The goals of these grants are to:
- Increase the number and diversity of community members focusing on walking.
- Strengthen local walking advocacy organizations.
- Increase the number and types of model practices being implemented in local communities.
- Build on the momentum of the Surgeon General’s Call To Action on Walking and Walkability by providing local communities resources and support for implementing the recommendations.
The grant activities will achieve these goals by falling into two broad categories:
- Focus on strengthening or elevating community-walking programs
- Fortify the policies, systems and environments that create walkable places
Eligible activities designed to strengthening or elevate walking programs include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Conduct a local social marketing campaign that engages people in ongoing walking events, activities or groups.
- Provide people with point of decision prompts, such as take the stairs campaigns, to encourage walking/rolling rather than riding.
- Establish incentives and rewards, such as walker discounts at local stores, for those that use active transportation.
- Create and mark walking paths, trails and routes, (i.e. use paint to mark a path on downtown sidewalks and put up distance signs).
Eligible activities to fortify the policies, systems and environments that create walkable places include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Establish regularly scheduled play streets and other pedestrian oriented activities for streets, i.e. car free days, create a parklet.
- Expand and engage community members in pushing for more walkable places by conducting community education and organizing event(s).
- Work to prioritize streetscale improvements (i.e. crosswalks and connected sidewalk system, benches and beautification).
- Conduct Walk Audits.
- Create a better block.