Vámonos: Santa Fe Walks completed its inaugural year of community walks on accessible urban trails in October. The walking collaborative began activities in May and built momentum over the Summer and into the Fall, finishing with a total of over 300 participants in 35 events.
The most successful of the seven monthly tracks was Southwest Care Center’s “Walk with a Doc,” which tallied over 100 walkers on Tuesday evening strolls on the River Trail, despite having to cancel its final outing due to weather in October.
Also popular, with 50 or more participants each, were walks with Community Health Workers, which were held in English and Spanish on the Arroyo de los Chamisos Urban Trail in Tierra Contenta; Senior Walks on the River Trail starting at the Mary Esther Gonzales Senior Center in Alto Park; and Christus-St. Vincent’s “Walk with a Doc” outings, which were split between walks on the new trail around Christus-St. Vincent Hospital and outings on the Arroyo de los Chamisos Trail starting at Villa Linda Park. Other monthly tracks included “Walk with a Notable Local” on Tuesday evenings in Tierra Contenta, Saturday morning “Family Walks” in the Railyard Park, and the early Wednesday morning “Walk with the Faith Community” on the River Trail. Seven of the originally-planned 42 outings had to be cancelled due to weather or lack of participation.
Among survey respondents, the vast majority of walkers – 85% – were female, and most were between the age of 55 and 75. Over one-quarter (28%) identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino. Nearly 40% of survey respondents indicated that they only engaged in vigorous physical activity once or twice per week, and 100% stated that they would like to participate in another community walk.
The Santa Fe Conservation Trust will meet with its Vámonos partners in the near future to determine a shared approach to continue this popular “community conservation” activity in 2019. A big thank you goes out to all of our partners and especially the walk leaders and volunteers who stepped up to make this first year a success.