June 10, 2009

New Neighborhood Walk Program set to launch on June 17th

Alderman Greg Helding and two local organizations are working together to start a "Neighborhood Walk" program to help people interested in living healthier and connecting with the community.

Helding is working with Eat Right Racine and Community for Change to start the six-week pilot program on June 17.

Free to the public, Neighborhood Walk will focus on multiple aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Starting on Wednesday, June 17, participants will meet once a week for a presentation followed by a neighborhood walk. Presentations will focus on exercise, nutrition, locally grown food, and health care. People will also be encouraged to form walking teams to keep a regular exercise routine in between meetings.

Ryan Gleason and Sandy Petrykowski of Community for Change and Amanda DeSonia of Eat Right Racine (read about Eat Right Racine here) came up with the idea earlier this year and Amanda contacted Helding to see if he would like to pilot the program in his district. Helding's is roughly bounded by Taylor Avenue, Durand Avenue, Lathrop Avenue, 20th Street and includes all of Georgetown.

“Earlier this Spring, my wife and I embarked on a mission to lead a more healthy lifestyle,” said Helding. “When Ryan and Amanda approached us about Neighborhood Walk, we were happy to help.”

Neighborhood Walk has a strong educational component, the organizers said.

“Most people want to eat healthy and stay fit,” DeSonia said. “In today’s society, that is not always easy to do. We can help people learn to make healthy eating choices and make regular exercise a part of their lives.”

Participants will learn skills such as sorting fact from fiction to find the truly healthy food at their local grocery store.

Neighborhood Walk will get people together to form walking teams and set a regular walking schedule that they will keep in between the weekly meetings and beyond.

“This is not just about education,” Gleason said. “It is about putting what we learn into action. Each meeting will conclude with a walk and we encourage everyone to walk with their neighbors between meetings.”

Helding added, “It is my hope that all of us keep walking and eating healthy long after this program is finished. A healthy lifestyle is not a goal, but a journey. Neighborhood Walk is a great way to get started on that journey.”

The public is invited to attend the first meeting to find out more details.


When: Wednesday, June 17th from 6 pm – 7 pm
Where: Humble Park Community Center, 2200 Blaine Ave., Racine, WI 53405
Cost: This event is free and open to the public. Families are welcome.

Neighborhood Walk Schedule

June 17th - The benefits of walking and cardiovascular exercise

June 24th - Nutrition and grocery shopping tips

July 1st - Field trip to a Farmers Market and discussion about locally grown produce

July 8th - Health and fitness clubs

July 15th - Kids Night

July 22nd - Urban Gardening and Food Tasting at Monument Square

All dates are Wednesdays and all sessions begin at 6pm

About Eat Right Racine

Eat Right Racine partners with community, business, agriculture and schools to develop integrated policy, education, and action for a food system that supports healthy children, communities, economies and environment.

We can be found at www.eatrightracine.org

About Community for Change

Community for Change is a comprehensive coalition of grassroots organizers committed to promoting HOPE, ACTION, and CHANGE in our world and within our community.

The members of Community for Change work together to coordinate information and resources relevant to issues of public policy, grassroots organizing, and electoral politics that directly benefit our community and enhance the lives of its residents.

We can be found at www.communityforchange.com and our online community at www.yeswecanracine.ning.com.


  1. Amanda DeSonia rocks!

  2. I hear that Krispy Kreme samples will be served after the walk.

  3. This is a great thing. Meet people, learn a healthy lifestyle, and get some exercise in. Good luck, hope it goes well, and finds its way to other neighborhoods.

  4. I know I will be taking part in this. God know I could use all the help I can get.

    To me this is all part of the great grassroots green activies taking place in the City fron the Racine Urban Gardening Group to Eat Right Racine, The King- Lincoln Garden and Farmer's Market and other great stuff. Bonuis its NOT led by Government.
    Folks like Amanda DeSonia (who rocks)and the like are asking themselves what can I do to help and acting.
    Great going! Its things like the above that give me hope for the City.

  5. Amanda DeSorocks