GET ACTIVE NJ
NJPN is helping New Jersey municipalities to become more walkable. When municipalities promote walking and plan for walkability in their community, they create a healthier environment for their residents.
Through funding from the New Jersey Department of Health, NJPN’s “GET ACTIVE NJ” program provides technical assistance, training and incentives to assist municipalities to find ways to educate stakeholders on different policies that can help promote walking and the many benefits that this can have on their communities. In order to help accomplish this, we offer financial assistance to a small number of communities to help them evaluate their current policies and educate stakeholders on potential policy changes. In addition to financial resources, NJPN provides technical assistance and trainings to municipalities as they move though the policy change process in order to help them navigate its complexities.
Some potential projects we will be able to help communities which may include:
- The adoption of a Complete Streets policy
- The revision of an Open Space and Recreation Plan to include language on walking and linking existing facilities together for pedestrians
- Sidewalk maintenance ordinances
- Joint use agreements with schools to allow access to playgrounds beyond school hours
- Improved lighting requirements for parks and running/walking trails
- Other policies that will result in increased opportunities for walking in the municipality
Getting Active with Policy: Where to Begin?
Cities and towns all across America are grappling with problems such as chronic disease, housing, transportation, safety, healthy environments and more. These issues do not exist independently from one another; they are all linked together. Developing strategies that cut across these sectors to improve the whole community can have dramatic impacts on the community. This resource is a New Jersey-specific supplement to existing resources and can help communities enhance walking policies. Living in the Garden State presents unique environments when it comes to governmental structures, needs, and existing resources. This toolkit will focus on: who makes policy at the local level; what existing groups are working on walking-related issues in New Jersey; how to use the NJ Community Health Assessment, Policy Tracking and Environmental Resource (CHAPTER) Tool to conduct an assessment of your community; and to provide you with national and local resources on walking strategies, needs assessments and information.
Who Should Use this Toolkit?
This toolkit is designed for everyone interested in improving the ability for people to walk in their communities. Municipal staff, Environmental Commission members, Green Team members, Planning Board members, School Board members, parents, and concerned citizens will all be able to find information and resources to apply to their own communities.