Walkability Workshop and Audit for Belfast, March 10th

On Monday, March 10 at 8:30 am in Belfast and on Tuesday, March 11 at 3 p.m. in  Wiscasset,  community members are invited to join Dan Burden from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute and Jane Lafleur from Friends of Midcoast Maine in workshops to look at ways to make these communities more walkable. Dan Burden is a renowned expert on walkability and has helped 3,500 communities nationwide to make communities more walk able and livable.  Walking Audits are a powerful workshop tool for redesign and visioning and for helping to build healthier, active communities. Popularized more than ten years ago by Dan Burden of Walkable Communities, Inc., these 45 to 90 minute teaching events are fun, healthy, democratic and inspirational.

Dan Burden has spent more than 35 years helping the world get “back on its feet” and his efforts have not only earned him the first-ever lifetime-achievement awards issued by the New Partners for Smart Growth and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, but in 2001, Dan was named by TIME magazine as “one of the six most important civic innovators in the world.” Also that year, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences honored Dan by making him their Distinguished Lecturer.

As many know, a walkable community creates economic vitality. The group will explore ideas to improve retail life, walkability, safety, traffic flow, community health, social interaction and the beauty and attractiveness of the area. The workshop includes outside walking so participants should wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.

In Belfast, the workshop will begin at the Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 37 Miller Street at 8:30 am to 2 p.m. In Wiscasset, the workshop will begin at Lincoln County RPC at 35 Water Street at 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Both workshops will be held rain or shine and include a light meal as well as outdoor walking in all conditions.  Registration is free for Belfast and Wiscasset residents, businesses and property owners and $10 for all others. Space is limited so pre-registration is required.  To pre-register, send an e-mail to info@friendsmidcoast.org  or register on-line at www.friendsmidcoast.org.  Wiscasset participants are urged to e-mail Misty Parker, Town Planner at townplanner@wiscasset.org

The workshop is co-sponsored by Friends of Midcoast Maine (FMM), the City of Belfast, the Town of Wiscasset, and the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute and are supported and funded by the Midcoast Public Health District’s Community Transformation Grant.  These two communities were chosen through a competitive process that was open to communities in Knox, Waldo, Lincoln and Sagadahoc Counties as well as Brunswick and Harpswell, which currently have an Active Community Environment Team (ACE Team) or plan to designate a team in conjunction with their application.  Active Communities Environment Team (ACE Teams) ACE Teams encourage environmental and policy change that will increase levels of physical activity and improve public health by promoting walking, bicycling and the development of accessible recreation facilities. ACE Teams are comprised of diverse and invested members of the community and must include at least 1 municipal official. FMM has held similar workshops in Camden, Thomaston, Boothbay Harbor and Rockland.

FMM works in the Midcoast from Brunswick to Bucksport to help communities shape their future. For more information visit www.friendsmidcoast.org or call 236-1077.

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