Decorah resident April Bril is among the first class of 15 Iowa Walking College (IWC) fellows.
As a IWC Fellow, Bril will participate in a six-month program with fellows from across the state. She will design a health/walking related community engagement project that will strengthen local efforts to make Decorah more walkable and livable.
The 15 fellows hail from 14 communities touching almost one million Iowans across 13 counties.
“Recognizing that walking is one of the easiest, most affordable and accessible ways for us to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, we are excited to offer a training opportunity to increase local efforts that can support walking and walkability,” said Jami Haberl, executive director at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative.
The Iowa Walking College was created in response to a need identified through the Collaborative Workshop on Walkable Communities in Iowa held last August to address opportunities to improve walkability in the state. Designed to assist local advocates in becoming effective change agents in their communities, the goal of the Iowa Walking College is to expand the knowledge of the advocates on walkability and establish a network of support to promote healthy outcomes across Iowa.
“AARP is proud to sponsor this inaugural Iowa Walking College Fellows program,” said AARP Iowa State Director Kent Sovern. “As Iowans of all ages strive to achieve a healthier lifestyle, we know that making it easier to walk for exercise, as well as making walking a viable, alternative mode of transportation, will help the state become a healthier and more livable place for all.”
The program will kick off on May 3 in Ames, with a daylong interactive session with experts in transportation and public health, including special guest Philip Bors, Technical Assistance Director at Active Living by Design. The rest of the program will incorporate online learning modules and a final in-person session focused on leadership. To culminate the fellow’s six-month learning experience, the fellows are invited to attend the National Walking Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota later this fall to learn from national experts and other walking advocates from across the nation.
More information is available at http://www.iowahealthieststate.com/iowa-walking-college or www.americawalks.org.