Walkable Communitites

By: Valerie Valcour

Is your neighborhood or community walkable? What does walkable mean, anyway? Walkable or wheelchair roll-able means that anyone of any ability can get around by walking or using their wheelchair. Getting around can mean getting to a grocery store or the post office, or being able to exercise and have fun. Did you know that the average person who lives in a walkable community can weigh 6-10 pounds less? You can check your community’s Walk Score here.

walkable community

If your community is walkable and you feel safe walking or wheelchair rolling, here are a few helpful tips to get started on your journey:

  • Set a realistic goal for yourself.
  • Take a look around you and figure out what you can do every day to add more walking or wheelchair rolling to your routine.
  • Track your progress and celebrate your success!

Find more health tips by going to the Health Department’s mymoment web page. You can also check out Copley’s Wellness Resources here.

Some communities do not have sidewalks, or there may be safety concerns. There are ways you can get involved to make your community more walkable and wheelchair roll-able. You can reach out to your Town Clerk and ask about your town’s plan regarding walking, biking and recreation. You can start a conversation by asking your town to conduct a walking audit. Walkable communities are not just healthy, they are also attractive and fun. The Vermont Department of Health’s Active Living guide can give you some ideas to help make your community more walkable.

Live well! Promote walking and walkable communities for all ages and abilities. Learn how by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/walking/call-to-action/pdf/infographic.pdf .


Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.

 

About the author

Live Well Lamoille
Live Well Lamoille

The Live Well Lamoille blog is a collaborative community effort. We hope you find this blog to be a valuable resource and use it to share information and encourage one another to make healthy choices.

4 Comments

  • Excellent post. I think that people often fail to make the connection between their environment (including walkability of the neighborhood/community) and their health. This is so important and I am always thrilled when I see communities focus on opportunities like walkability, farmer’s markets, etc.

  • Increasing community walkability can be an effective environmental public health strategy because so many people’s health and wellbeing can be impacted positively by the changes, especially in a rural state like Vermont. Walkable communities are livable communities!

  • Community walkability is extremely important and creates nicer community centers. Some of our towns score really well, and as Val shared there are great resources to help us start the conversation in towns that are not. In the meantime we have a number of local trails… Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, Cambridge Trails (link to maps: http://www.cambridgeconservation.com/p/trail-map.html), Peoples Academy track, and the Stowe Quiet and Rec. Paths to name a few…. So – grab a walking companion and go for a walk…