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Healthy Waltham: Just a walk in the park

This month’s column is by Caitlin Abber of Healthy Waltham and Sonja Wadman of the Waltham Land Trust. Caitlin is an undergraduate intern at Healthy Waltham as a Louis D. Brandeis Social Justice Fellow with a passion to promote health equity within communities. Sonja has been Program Director of the Waltham Land Trust since last October in her “dream job,” promoting trails and open space. Caitlin and Sonja are very excited to share the community’s many walking options with all of Waltham’s residents and families.

Healthy Waltham: Just a walk in the park

Put the kids in strollers and enjoy the beauty of the Charles Riverwalk heading upstream from Moody Street towards the Watch Factory.

By Caitlin Abber and Sonja Wadman

Wicked Local Waltham
Posted Aug 31, 2011 @ 08:14 AM

This fall, two local organizations are showing people who live, work, and learn in Waltham where to get some exercise with a nice, leisurely stroll in our fine city. Healthy Waltham is a civic group committed to improving the quality of life for the people of Waltham, while the Waltham Land Trust aims to create a legacy of land conservation in Waltham. Together, Healthy Waltham and the Waltham Land Trust plan to educate folks about the numerous health benefits of walking while exposing them to the many beautiful trails, neighborhoods, and open spaces in and around our city.

Everybody knows that walking is good for you, but let’s go over it one more time: walking reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and helps with maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes. First Lady Michelle Obama recognizes the enormous health benefits of walking and has established the Let’s Move Initiative, in part to increase physical activity opportunities in cities and towns. Waltham recently joined this initiative to create Let's Move Waltham, as proclaimed by Mayor McCarthy and the City Council.

To address this in our city of Waltham, Healthy Waltham and the Waltham Land Trust have come together to create the Waltham City Walks brochure that aims to encourage the recommended one hour of exercise a day. Inspired by Healthy City Fall River’s model, the maps included in the pamphlet illustrate paths that are easily accessible and on level ground, thus suitable for people of all ages, including those with walkers or strollers; they’re ideal for families. Each map shows the length of each route and calories burned based on the average American weight. To ensure that all of Waltham’s diverse population can take advantage of these walking pamphlets, Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center will be translating them into several languages, including Haitian Creole and Spanish.

Along with our collaboration to provide pamphlets in multiple languages, Healthy Waltham, the Waltham Land Trust, and Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center are teaming up to put on a Fall Walks Kick Off event at the health center on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Waltham Land Trust will provide guided tours of the Waltham Common at 10:30 a.m. and noon.

Simultaneously, free blood pressure, glucose screenings, healthy snacks, water (save on waste, bring your own bottle), and face painting will be offered for children, families, and people of all ages.

Looking for someone to walk with on a regular basis? The Waltham Land Trust and Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center are sponsoring a monthly Fall Walking Group, where participants will be led on some of the routes highlighted in the Waltham City Walks brochure. Sept. 10 will be a tour of the Common, while Oct. 11 and Nov. 5 will feature guided strolls along the trails of the Charles Riverwalk.

Busy those dates? On Sunday, Oct. 16, Healthy Waltham and the Waltham Land Trust bring the Let’s Move Waltham initiative to Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate, where guided tours of the mansion’s grounds and walks in the surrounding Storer Conservation Area will be offered, along with crafts and healthy snacks. A free trolley will bring folks from the Waltham Common to this magnificent property.

Healthy Waltham and the Waltham Land Trust sincerely hope to see many Waltham families at these fun events and out walking in our beautiful city.

For more information please check out,,, and Downloadable walking pamphlet coming soon!

Healthy Waltham’s column appears monthly in the Waltham News Tribune. Send feedback to
Copyright 2011 Wicked Local Waltham. Some rights reserved


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