project leader
Donna Y
location
803 Armstrong Avenue
(Kensington, West Height, Oak Grove)
latest update rss
Full Come Walk With Us Video

the project

Community Health Council of Wyandotte County exists to improve health and health care for the people of our community. We believe that residents have the ability, and an inherent right, to provide leadership in the shaping of physical spaces and public policies which impact their health. CHC’s responsibility is to ensure the collective experiences and expertise of Wyandotte County residents are represented in matters of health design and policy, as well as identify and maximize opportunities for collaboration, planning and implementation of effective community health improvement initiatives.

This project embodies this mission - money raised will help fund our Community Action and Youth Community Action Boards, community-led groups that provide leadership on issues related to public health in our community. We also plan to use funds to increase walkability, social connection, and neighborhood safety by improving neighborhood sidewalk, curb, street, and lighting conditions. Walking is the most basic form of human mobility and it’s good for our overall health and wellness!

Two years ago, several community-based organizations hosted listening sessions with community residents to identify the top community priorities in the northeast area of Kansas City, KS. During these sessions, we learned that our residents were grappling with issues centered in the built environment, specifically the conditions of streets, sidewalks, curbs and lighting were inhibiting our community’s ability to access and enjoy recreational spaces, safe routes to schools and parks, and limiting social interactions between neighbors. These conditions were essentially reducing our residents’ abilities to fully engage in the community and contributing to poor health outcomes.  

Following these listening sessions, we invited the residents to participate in a community walk audit and prioritization process. These community-based organizations, following a collective impact model, have leveraged community feedback, a variety of resources, and technical assistance to create a solution that would mitigate the challenge of unsafe streets and sidewalks. A “neighborhood walk audit” process was designed to allow residents and students to participate in the data collection and prioritization process. As of today, five neighborhood audits have been successfully completed. Priority infrastructure improvement recommendations have already helped to inform new sidewalk installation routes where students actually walk to school!

We currently have three more neighborhoods ready to execute their neighborhood walk audits…three of the largest, most densely populated neighborhoods in the historic northeast portion of Wyandotte County. While the majority of the work is achieved through volunteer efforts, there is a portion of the project that does require monetary support. We need your help, please consider supporting this health-centered, community-building initiative. Increasing walking within our communities can be a strategy for achieving equity by reducing unequal burdens of disease (low-income communities tend to have higher rates of chronic disease); and reducing transportation costs.

the steps

For walk audits:

  • Step 1: Technical Experts create a “basemap” of each of the three neighborhoods (aerial maps that identify major neighborhood institutions, empty lots, land-bank properties, and other significant info) This is our data collection starting point.
  • Step 2: Technical Experts create “field note sheets” which outline clusters of walk routes and are specific to either curbs, sidewalks, streets, or lighting.
  • Step 3: Host “special focus” neighborhood association meetings (open to all residents and neighborhood stakeholders including businesses, community policing, faith leaders, civic leaders, elected officials, and school administration).
    • Review the “basemap”  and invite residents/community stakeholders to highlight any missing data and/or things that need to be updated.
    • Provide field training for how to use the “field note sheets” to collect data on the designated walk audit date.
  • Step 4: WALK AUDIT DAY! All volunteers are deployed to walk the designated routes collecting data as trained in the workshop.
  • Step 5: Technical Experts compile all data collected on the “field note sheets” and enter this data on the “basemap” in preparation for Step 6
  • Step 6: Prioritization Workshop with neighborhoods – convening the same stakeholders as in step 3 – review the results and through a participatory process, residents will identify “hot spot” areas that demonstrate strength as well as those which are top priority for infrastructure improvements.
  • Step 7: Develop a report to be presented to Urban Planning, Public Works, and other infrastructure improvement stakeholders – to be a reference tool for identifying top priorities for improvement investments.

why we're doing it

Two year ago, following the release of the Health Equity Action Transformation (HEAT) Report, our community finally had a quantitative measure for the health inequities that were too often overlooked and/or disregarded. The HEAT report not only provided compelling spatial data, it also provided a narrative that helped to link poor health outcomes to the built environment. Today we can discuss health inequities such as the 20 year average age of death disparity between eastern and western portions of Wyandotte County and we can link it to the racialized housing policies that shaped today’s neighborhoods. This project doesn’t just improve health outcomes through increasing access to mobility… this project encourages civic engagement, it is a shot of adrenaline for community empowerment, and it provides a deep level of enrichment for the youth who may not otherwise engage with architects, urban planners, community activists, and other community stakeholders. Come Walk With Us WYCO…together great things are bound to happen!

budget

Original Budget 2.5.19

Walk Audits (Kensington, West Height, Oak Grove) - $6,000

Youth Community Advisory Board - $6,300

Health Equity Action Team Community Advisory Board - $7,200

Marketing and Media - $500



PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED = $20,000
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $620
TOTAL TO RAISE = $20,655

 

updates

Full Come Walk With Us Video

Take a look at this! Full 11 minute video including interviews with our walk audit volunteers!

 

https://vimeo.com/297732207

photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • Wes McKain
  • Anonymous
  • Andrew Benedict-Nelson
  • Justin Border
  • Anonymous