Walk + Roll comes to Cleveland Heights
Walk+Roll, a fun event that encourages people to walk and bicycle in their daily lives, is coming to the Heights. On Sunday, July 19, from 1 to 5 pm, the City of Cleveland Heights will host its first Walk+Roll in Cain Park.
The concept started in Latin America as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle and counter act an autocentric culture. Walk+Roll has a proven track record of staging events and generating positive publicity in the cities of Cleveland and Lakewood. For the past three years, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Cleveland, a major artery, was opened up to people by closing the street to cars on special Sundays. As a result of Walk+Roll, thousands of people have discovered and explored Rockefeller Park and The Cultural Gardens which they had previously only seen from their cars. This new appreciation for the park has generated interest and community pride for an overlooked asset.
Last year, Walk+Roll Lakewood closed Detroit and Belle avenues on a Saturday. The event was a huge success drawing thousands of people together, including kids, young adults, families and seniors discovering the downtown area without cars. Local news media covered the event and it drew people from throughout the region. A video of the event can be seen at www.walkroll.com. Walk+Roll hopes to have a number of events in northern Ohio for 2009; specific dates, places and maps will be announced once funding is secured.
Cain Park stretches for three quarters of a mile from Taylor to Lee roads. Local businesses, citizens groups and nonprofits are invited to have fun activities that promote health, wellness, active living and a greener environment. Music and arts groups are encouraged to create plus school groups, senior centers, faith organizations and health providers are urged to participate. Local bike groups will host rides that begin and end at Cain Park and aim to promote safe cycling and sharing the roadways. Any and all are encouraged to help create a free community event to promote a healthier, cleaner, greener and more vibrant Cleveland Heights.
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and is a 15-year resident of Cleveland Heights.