Long Beach residents explore their neighborhoods during a walking tour.
Long Beach residents in the Central Long Beach area were invited to go out and join a community walk on Aug. 18 that would promote not only healthy activity, but a healthy community as well.
A collaboration of people and organizations came together to bring the second Community Walk initiated at MacArthur Park. The first community walk took place in April in Central Long Beach and future walks in West and North Long Beach are in their planning stages.
Senator Alan Lowenthal, City Fabrick, YMCA of greater Long Beach and Building Healthy Communities – Long Beach were just a few names that helped make the walk possible.
“When you walk, you really help your community,” said Lowenthal to the group of residents who came out to the walk. “You get to know your neighbors, you really see what’s going on in every street, it makes things safer.”
There are a total of five community walks planned in different parts of the city. The goal is to get local residents to walk the approximately mile-long route while taking note of things that make some neighborhoods more desirable to walk along than others. By doing so, residents can be more aware of the problems their neighborhoods have and get an idea of how those problems can be fixed.
The event organizers also hope to promote residents to get to know one another and their business districts by foot, as well as get a new appreciation as to why some streets have less pedestrian traffic than others. They want to give the community members a chance to see the neighborhood characteristics and how it affects peoples’ willingness to walk due to comfort and safety.
“It is important for the community to see that walking is a good exercise, walking kind of sends a message to the bad people to not mess around in the community…in our safer environment in Long Beach,” said Chanthy Yi, local resident and community specialist at the Cambodian Association of America. Yi hopes that the residents will think to themselves, “What are our problems?”
“We give them a sort of an analytical information about the environment, they give us the context specific about this neighborhood,” said Brian Ulaszewski, one of the facilitators of the walk.
There are plans to have all the routes printed on cards so local residents can continue walking them. The cards would include information about the neighborhoods and their “hidden gems” as well.
“The first step for us to be healthy is to have a designated route so that the community will not be afraid to come out and walk,” said Raymond Chaverria, associate project director for the United Cambodian Community.
Information on future walking routes will be released as soon as they are finalized. For more information visit, www.facebook.com/CityFabrick.
Do you know what’s in your neighborhood? Long Beach-based City Fabrick recently led a group of community members on a tour of their neighborhood.
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