Neighborhood Network, a program of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, has been hard at work improving the Middlebury neighborhood, whether it’s repairing houses or connecting residents to valuable resources. The program was recently awarded a Community Change Micro Grant by America Walks.
The Neighborhood Network program was among 20 selected from more than 600 applications nationally that support efforts to create safe, accessible and enjoyable places to walk.
As part of the grant, Neighborhood Network will facilitate the recruitment, training and support of 10 resident-led walking audits this spring. Each walk audit will gather information about sidewalks, streets and overall walking experience in the Middlebury neighborhood. Then a document, ranking public safety problem areas, will be created and shared with city officials and local business owners to advocate for neighborhood improvements.
A portion of the grant money will be used to create the walk audit materials (training resources, route cards for each walk, pens, clipboards and flashlights), while $1,000 of the grant will cover the Walk Leaders Training course for residents, who will lead the walking routes. To learn more about the training or to sign up as a Walk Leader, contact Neighborhood Revitalization Coordinator Marissa Little at [email protected].
“Through our work, we know that when local community change agents work to get their neighborhood on the walking path, great things happen,” said Kate Kraft, executive director of America Walks. “Each of these grantees has a vision of how improving conditions for walking can lead to healthier communities. Our hope is that the work of these grantees will inspire action across the US to create communities where all can be active, healthy, and engaged.”
In April 2017, Habitat for Humanity of Summit County introduced a new program and service with the merging of Neighborhood Network (previously a grassroots neighborhood organization) under its Neighborhood Revitalization Program.