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March 2020 Newsletter

The Importance of Livable Communities
during the COVID-19 Pandemic; Local Resources & Grants

From America Walks:

Managing the Uncertainty of the COVID-19 Outbreak through Walking

In its recent blog post, America Walks describes that despite us entering into a society that is unlike anything that (most of us) have experienced before, it is essential to make a plan for mental and emotional self care. Part of this plan can include walking and moving!

Walking and moving are free and have multiple benefits to our physical and mental health, plus, they allow us to get out of our homes while adhering to current public health recommendations for social distancing. Read the blog post to see the organizations perspective and to browse more resources for self-care and walking during the outbreak.

Continuing to Advocate for Active Transportation
Safe Routes to School National Partnership

After reading the snippet from America Walks... you might be thinking, what about communities where walking is unsafe and impossible? We had the same thought! That's why were following the Safe Routes to School National Partnership after the organization announced in the first of a new series of blog posts, that they will begin to crowdsource creative ideas, resources and actions shared by partners and brainstormed by its staff. The first post included active transportation in the current news, resources to encourage physical activity with kids and adults, and how to keep doing Safe Routes work from home.

In Safe Routes' second blog post, they shared ways to work with communities to continue advocacy to make biking safer and more convenient during the coronavirus pandemic and into the future. This included making streets car-free, using pop-ups to protect people and show potential, showing up for mass transit and more.

An important topic the AALC has been looking at is the connection between Transportation and Food Access. From the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, we've been reviewing multiple resources related to the topic, including Safe Routes to Healthy Food. We invite you to do the same!

Our Natural Areas Matter, Too
"How the Outdoors Can Be an Antidote to Quarantine Anxiety"

In Sierra Magazine, a publication of the Sierra Club, editor Jason Mark shared that " the midst of natural disasters like floods, storms, and wildfires, we are called on to come together. Now, we're being called on to stay apart. Yet even as we distance ourselves from one another to protect public health, nature remains one place where we can find a feeling of re-connection." So, as long as we're able to do so in a way that meets the recommendations for social distancing, it's good for us to get outside however we can.

Just don't be like these Arizonans that all flocked to the same crowded hiking trails.


COVID-19 Food System Resources for Arizona

Our friends at Pinnacle Prevention, in their commitment to supporting both the immediate response to and recovery from COVID-19, have developed a webpage with relevant food system resources for: pregnant moms and families with young children, seniors, families with school aged children, food banks and more.

  • Farmers markets are essential services and most remain open. All open markets are taking extra precautions at this time. Buy from your local farmers market to support local farmers and to ease burden at grocery stores: Click here to find one near you.
  • Consider volunteering at a food bank. Click here to find one near you. Call ahead to see what help is needed and what guidelines are being followed.

Submit by 5/4: Maricopa County Grant Opportunity

For those of you in Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Dept. of Public Health is offering grants of up to $10,000, per site, to increase the number of spaces in under-served areas, so community members can:
  • Play, exercise and take part in recreational activites
  • Grow healthy food and participate in nutrition related activities
Who Should Apply?
  • Community based organizations; Local Government; Title I Schools;
    Faith-based organizations; Libraries; Hospitals; Private Business
Applications are to be submitted via email to and she must receive them by 2:00pm May 4th. All responses will be reviewed by the selection committee and awards should be announced in May/June 2020.

Click here to Download & Open the grant in a Microsoft Word Document
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