With more and more attention being focused on pedestrian-friendly communities, the state Department of Environment and Conservation is joining in the mix with its new Walk with Me Tennessee initiative.
The program will help evaluate recreational efforts for cities and counties that focus on planning, health and fitness opportunities, infrastructure, connecting community areas and safety
By ranking community “walkability,” the state provides pertinent planning information to help communities increase their pedestrian friendliness.
“The department’s Recreation Educational Services Division is striving to increase awareness of alternate transportation and lower the obesity percentage of our citizens,” said TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke. “Tennessee is ranked second in the nation for obesity and the national obesity rate of children is increasing to a hazardous level. Combine the obesity statistics, cost of fuel and the environmental impacts of vehicle emissions — having a community with alternate transportation options is invaluable to all Tennesseans’ quality of life.”
Prior to making the program available to communities across the state of Tennessee, seven pilot communities were chosen to serve as part of the program’s initial research, including the cities of Athens, Clarksville, Cleveland, Collegedale, Jackson, Manchester and Sevierville.
For more information about the Walk with Me Tennessee, visit the Web site at www.tn.gov/environment/recreation.