With every challenge, comes innovation. In this era of an increasing demand for flexibility, we are all being asked to rise to the test and adapt - quickly - in ways that we might not have otherwise done.
Our Paths to Equity StoryMap project is just such an example of a quick response to rapid change. Originally slated to be a series of in-person walks mapped by local urban hiking expert, Chris Englert from EatWalkLearn and Denver by Foot, in coordination with Denver Community Active Living Coalition (CALC) staff and local on-the-ground partners in each area, the COVID-19 pandemic threatened these plans dramatically. But instead, our team worked diligently to bring to life a self-guided walking series, complete with storymaps, facts, and photos. Ameir Mobasheri, a CALC Safe Routes Advocate, used ArcGIS to translate the maps into engaging and informative storymaps that are easy to use and accessible via a website, found here: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/5065b48089f942de9ca52645fa6f1bfc
The goals for this project are to help community members become better acquainted with unique areas of Denver, to celebrate their rich history and vibrancy, and to highlight walking as a sustainable, healthy alternative to motorized vehicles. Additionally, these topical walks create new avenues of invitation to discuss equity and how equity issues across history have impacted Denver.
The stopping locations, history, and topics were chosen to highlight six different aspects of equity, climate, and active transportation. The locations and areas of focus are as follows:
Montbello: Food Equity
Harvey Park: Sanderson Gulch
Lakewood Gulch: Transit
Brighton Blvd: Stormwater
Confluence Park: Air/Water
These educational and fun walking tours can now be used in a self-guided format, either at home for learning, or on a phone, while actually out walking the routes. They not only foster organic community connections through walking, while also encouraging the use and enjoyment of Denver’s beautiful trails, sidewalks, and neighborhoods, but they are additionally a great way to stay active and healthy in a time where balance is essential. We hope that you find solace and value through the art of walking, and learn more about Denver as you do!