Local Advocate Receives National Award – Lindsey Wooten will participate in “Walkable Communities” training program

walking college

Wayne, MI – America Walks, a national advocacy organization that promotes walking and walkable communities, announced today that Lindsey Wooten of Wayne Main Street has been awarded a Walking College Fellowship.

The Fellowship will enable Lindsey Wooten and 24 other advocates from around the country (more info. at http://americawalks.org/news/) to participate in a five-month training program designed to strengthen local efforts to make communities more walkable and livable. “We are delighted to welcome Lindsey Wooten as a member of our inaugural Walking College class,” said Ian Thomas, State and Local Program Director with America Walks, “This program was developed in response to the finding, from our recent survey of 532 local walking organizations, that access to technical assistance and a national peer network are among the most pressing needs for these groups.”

Lindsey Wooten will complete a six-module distance-education training program this summer, followed by a two-month independent study project in downtown Wayne, and then attend the National Walking Summit in Washington, DC at the end of October. “I am ecstatic about this opportunity,” says Lindsey Wooten, Executive Director of Wayne Main Street. Promoting Wayne as a walkable downtown is an effort that is already under way as Wooten recently became involved with the Healthy Communities Leadership Coalition spearheaded by Oakwood Healthcare System. “The timing of this opportunity aligns perfectly with the Healthy Communities initiative. I especially look forward to the Community Action Plan that I will develop as a result of the Walking College. With the support of Wayne Main Street volunteers and other community stakeholders I hope to implement a program that promotes and/or improves the walkability of Downtown Wayne and the overall health and well-being of downtown residents.”

The Walking College curriculum has been designed to expand the capacity of local advocates to be effective community change agents. Topics include the science behind the benefits of walking, evaluation of built environments, as well as communication skills and building relationships with stakeholders and decision makers. At the conclusion of the Walking College, Fellows will develop a Community Action Plan for implementation over the following 12-months.

About The Walking College: The Walking College is supported with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative. Mentoring will be provided by a dozen national leaders in the field, including representatives of AARP, the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, and the Alliance for Biking and Walking. More info. at www.americawalks.org/walking-college/.

About America Walks: America Walks is the only national organization devoted exclusively to making America a great place to walk. America Walks consists of a network of more than 700 partner and allied organizations, working to increase walking and create more safe, accessible and inclusive places to walk. Programs include on-line technical assistance, community-based workshops, convenings such as the National Walking Summit, federal advocacy initiatives, and increasing financial resources for local action. America Walks also maintains the Every Body Walk! Collaborative, a national partnership focused on increasing the visibility of walking and cultivating consumer demand for more walkable places. More info. at www.americawalks.org.

About Wayne Main Street: Wayne Main Street, a Michigan Main Street program, is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization. We are a positive force working with our community, business and property owners to preserve, enhance, and promote our historic downtown as a vibrant destination for residents and visitors to gather, shop, work, and enjoy. For more information, please visit www.downtownwayne.org.

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