Saturday, February 14th
It was a lovely morning and we had a lot of fun!
Lots of people use Google Maps or MapQuest to plan a road trip.
Now there's an Environment Hamilton website for walkers.
The idea of Walk There is to make you think twice before jumping into the car for a short trip by showing how quickly you can walk to schools, churches, Tim Hortons or other places within two kilometres of home.
The web address is www.environmenthamilton.org/
You enter your point of departure, then pick from a destination category such as movie theatres or hair salons, and the software will show you where they are within a two-kilometre circle. Click on one of the pointers to get the name, address and walking time in minutes.
Jarah West of Environment Hamilton said volunteers had "scraped" the list of locations from other websites and that it needs to be refined and expanded, so users are invited to submit additions and changes.
The Kirkendall neighbourhood in southwest Hamilton is the most complete so far, because Environment Hamilton has been working there for a year to encourage residents to walk more. There have been street-by-street surveys of what makes walking attractive or difficult; police workshops on safe walking and cycling; and a series of guided walks with themes such as history and food.
In demonstrating the website at Ryerson Middle School yesterday, West told students that walking more would make them healthier while helping reduce vehicle emissions that contribute to global climate change.
Cindy Gangoram, teaching about the value of setting goals, then invited the students to make personal commitments to walk more.
"Maybe you can't walk to school every day, maybe every other day, but you can set a goal, and the only person you can impress or let down is yourself."
West said she hopes the website will help people realize the grocery story is only a six-minute walk away, and knowing that, they'll think about walking rather than clearing snow off the car, putting on seatbelts and driving a short distance.