A walking assessment of sidewalks in Grinnell has been completed through the Iowans Walking Assessment Logistics Kit (IWALK). The Poweshiek County Transformation Grant committee members and community volunteers with a vested interest in sidewalk accessibility were invited to help map out the city’s sidewalks.
The process of mapping involved more than 15 volunteers who walked most blocks of Grinnell in early May with an iPhone and special app, Web Mapping Technologies, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The phones accurately map routes that children and community members use to walk or bicycle to school, work, or other community destinations and identify barriers and solutions to make it safer for all.
“Walkable communities result in more physical activity. Regular physical activity helps people get and keep a healthy weight,” says Patty Hinrichs, Poweshiek County Transformation Grant committee member. “The program identifies frequented walking routes, barriers to walking, and encountered hazards sidewalks, curbs, street crossings, and streets that need changes for easier walking and biking in the city of Grinnell.”
Another element of the walkability assessment included a survey sent to 500 residents. The response rate was 30 percent with 148 surveys returned.
The results for the survey and walking assessment will be presented at a community meeting on Monday, June 17, at noon, in the Grinnell Public Service Building, 1020 Spring St. The city personnel, senior community representatives, and interested residents are welcome to the meeting. A free lunch will be provided. Please call 641-236-2385 if you plan to attend so enough food can be prepared.
The goal of this study as well as the county’s transformation grant program is to improve access to exercise and wellness resources. The program seeks to solve this concern that:
• Less than half of all adults get the recommended amount of physical activity. Adults need at least 2½ hours (150 minutes) a week of moderate-level aerobic physical activity.
• Women and older adults are not as likely to get the recommended level of weekly physical activity.
• Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
I-WALK is funded by the Department of Transportation and provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). It was created to develop a partnership between IDPH, local public health offices, local boards of health, Iowa State University Extension, and the older Iowans community. The Poweshiek County Transformation Grant is administered by Grinnell Regional Medical Center in partnership the Poweshiek County Healthy Choices Coalition.
For more information on how the Poweshiek County Transformation Grant is working in the county to improve health, call 641-236-2385.