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Shapiro Administration Announces Grant Opportunities to Make Communities More Pedestrian-Friendly

01/23/2024

Harrisburg, PA - The Shapiro Administration announced today that grant applications are now being accepted for the WalkWorks program to help communities develop Active Transportation Plans and increase physical activity by connecting local destinations with improved pedestrian, bicycle, and transit networks.   

 

“I encourage municipal leaders to learn about and apply for WalkWorks funding to increase opportunities for physical activities for their residents,” said Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen. “Moving our bodies is a great way we can improve our overall health, helping to prevent stress and diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to do that and WalkWorks supports healthy communities by providing funding to expand options for walking, biking, or rolling to places people want to go.”

 

Eligible Commonwealth municipalities can apply for funding to create more pedestrian-friendly spaces for residents. Living in, working in, or visiting communities with safe, beautiful, functional, and accessible public spaces and streets means people will be able to use activity-friendly routes to get to destinations. 

 

Creating improved pedestrian-friendly spaces increases physical activity and reduces obesity and chronic disease, which simultaneously improves individual health, expands economic vitality, and reduces health care costs. 

 

Additionally, many people suffering from anxiety, depression, and mood swings find walking has a calming effect. One of the goals of Pennsylvania’s State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), created by the Department of Health in collaboration with numerous stakeholders, is to increase the population’s healthy weight by increasing the availability and accessibility of physical activity.

Funding for the awards is made possible by the Department of Health through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is administered by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. Applications must be received by 5:00 PM on March 22. There will be an optional one-hour webinar to review the goals of this funding opportunity, the application process, expectations of grantees, and questions from interested parties on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 12:00 PM Zoom will be used to administer the web conference. Applicants can register for the informational session online in advance

The number of awards is dependent on how many applications are received, the amounts requested, and each applicant’s documented ability to meet the required criteria. The Pennsylvania Downtown Center will provide selected applicants notice of award in June 2024. The anticipated term of the award is July 2024 through June 2025.

 

More information about the 2024 WalkWorks application process is available on the Department of Health’s website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark O'Neill - ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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