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Fall River and Springfield groups honored with Golden Shoe awards

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Photo courtesy of the Friends of the Quequechan Rail Trail

BOSTON: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 – WalkBoston will present Golden Shoe Awards to groups from Fall River and Springfield at WalkBoston’s 29th Annual Celebration on March 18, 2019 to celebrate and reward those who have bettered the walking environment and exemplify the ideals that guide WalkBoston’s work. Golden Shoes are awarded each year to individuals, agencies, municipalities and companies. This year’s Golden Shoe Award winners:

Fall River

Fall River Walking Champions | Friends of the Quequechan River Rail Trail: Janice Velozo and many others | Bike Fall River: Al Lima and many others | Partners for a Healthier Community: David Weed, Marcia Picard | Fall River School Dept: Letourneau School Vice Principal, David Assad, Fonseca School Principal, Alicia Lisi | Fall River Dept of Community Maintenance: John Perry, Laura Ferreira and others | Fall River Dept of Health and SSTAR, Mass in Motion and 1422: Julianne Kelly, Eric Andrade, and Paula Beaulieu | Fall River City Planners and Engineers: Bill Roth | Fall River Police Dept: Officer Rick Saraiva | Fall River Fire Dept: Chief John Lynch | Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD): Jackie Jones

This diverse group of people and organizations from across Fall River have joined forces to create wonderful new walking opportunities and establish a base of activists who will ensure that Fall River is even more walkable in the years to come. A long-anticipated dream of residents to reconnect a City split by the building of Interstate 195 was realized with the planning and construction of the beautiful and well-loved Quequechan River Rail Trail (QRRT). It was then determined that a collaboration of City departments and volunteers was essential to promote, protect, and preserve the Trail.

Since 2016, the Friends of the Quequechan Trail have conducted clean-ups, maintained gardens, placed wayfinding signs, and organized events to keep the Trail a welcoming and safe resource for all residents and visitors to the City. In other locations around the City, all ages got involved: senior champions led walks around Senior Centers and worked to secure improvements for sidewalks and crosswalks, and a Safe Routes to School grant was awarded to protect the youngest pedestrians. Resident activists led the passage of the Community Preservation Act, and partnered with city staff for the adoption of a Complete Streets Policy.

Springfield

Springfield Walking Champions | City of Springfield Dept of Health and Human Services: Helen Caulton-Harris, Commissioner, Benjamin Bland, Mass in Motion Coordinator, Kiah McAndrew-Davis, 1422 Grant Manager | City of Springfield Dept of Public Works: Matt Sokop, Chief Engineer | Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Catherine Ratté | LiveWell Springfield, Jessica Collins | Wayfinders, Beatrice Dewberry | WalkBike Springfield, Betsy Johnson

This persistent, resourceful, and courageous group of walking champions shows the power of layering the efforts of local advocates, public health professionals, and city staff with resources from regional and state agencies. Their dedication to improving Springfield’s walking environment has resulted in real changes to the built environment stretching across the City. These changes took time and could not have happened without true, undying commitment.

Policies now exist to sustain these efforts – a crosswalk standard, pedestrian safety curriculum for elementary students, and a complete streets policy that looks to expand the biking and walking network in Springfield. The work of these champions has led to more students walking to school along safer routes, and neighborhood residents crossing streets in brightly painted, prominent crosswalks.

Event Details

WalkBoston’s 29th Annual Celebration & Golden Shoe Awards
March 18th, 2019 from 5-8pm
Fort Point Room – Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210

Schedule

5 – 6:15pm food & drinks
6:15pm speaking program & awards
•Welcome | Emma Yashar, Board President
•Year in Review | Wendy Landman, Executive Director
•1 Minute Project Highlights | WalkBoston Staff
•Golden Shoe Presentations | Fall River & Springfield
•Keynote Speaker | Eric Fleegler, MD, MPH

Organizer: WalkBoston
Contact: Brendan Kearney bkearney@walkboston.org 617-367-9255

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