GO Bike Buffalo has announced that they have received a $50,000 grant from Play Streets®, an initiative created to help prevent and combat childhood obesity by the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
As 1 out of 10 cities chosen to receive the award, Buffalo will continue on its journey to create a city where alternative modes of transportation, healthy communities, and the education of the future generations are a top priority.
In addition to GO Bike Buffalo, collaborators include BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, the City of Buffalo and the Common Council. The award will help to make the City of Buffalo a place where children can play in the streets safely as they are provided with more options the stay active and healthy.
The President and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Alphonso O’Neil-White, stated that “BlueCross BlueShield sees Play Streets® as a transformative program that will improve the health of our region and inspire people to make healthy choices.”
For one year, Buffalo, including the other 9-city award recipients (Minneapolis, MN, Savannah, GA, Durham, NC, New Orleans, LA, Omaha, NE, York, PA, San Francisco, CA, Chicago, IL, and Caguas, PR) will host Play Streets® events that will result in closing designated streets to traffic making the play-friendly road open to the community. In addition to the funds, each awardee will receive technical assistance, and communications and marketing support from the Partnership for a Healthier America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and local Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to help promote the events that will take place in each community.
GO Bike Buffalo’s efforts to create healthy, environmentally sustainable, community-friendly transportation options in the City of Buffalo have not gone unnoticed. The non-profit organization’s dedication to local initiatives like the Complete Streets, GO Buffalo, Buffalo Green Code, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, and more has made a substantial impact in the community.
Justin Booth, Executive Director of GO Bike Buffalo stated that “GO Bike Buffalo is proud to introduce Play Streets® to the City of Buffalo in partnership with the Health Kids, Healthy Communities initiative to create safe, accessible and healthier communities by opening our streets so individuals and families can come together to participate in fun, healthy activities.”
A major contributor of childhood obesity is inactivity. It is recommended that children take part in physical activities for at least 1 hour per day. According to the Project HOPE. Child Obesity Policy Brief: The Pervasive Effects Of Environments On Childhood Obesity, 1 out of every 5 children (15 million) in America do not have access to a playground. In that same policy brief, more than a third of the children in this country are said to have no access to recreation centers in their immediate communities. Play Streets® is an effective solution that offers a high-impact way to encourage more physical activity in neighborhoods that often lack open space.
The grant will help to promote walking and cycling this summer and will hopefully pave the way for continued and more frequent Play Streets® support in the future.
Visit gobikebuffa.org to stay up-to-date on the progress and events that emerge from the award.