CALS Receives Community Change Grant from America Walks

Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) is honored to receive one of the 19 Community Change Grants awarded by America Walks for use in 2020. The program, now in its fifth year and supported by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Lyft, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD), Oregon Walks, and WalkBoston, provides funds that support grassroots efforts aimed at creating safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and move.

CALS was selected from over 400 applications for projects that demonstrate the passion, creativity, and commitment of local walking champions. Awardees will work with America Walks and other partners to successfully complete their projects and share their lessons with other community change agents. While the projects and programs work to improve walkability, the results of each grant will have a positive change on many areas of that community.

“At a time when pedestrian fatalities are at an all-time high and communities continue to try and find ways to be healthy, these grants provide support to those doing the hard, inspiring work at the local level,” said Executive Director Kate Kraft. “We are excited to work with these communities and use their efforts and stories to encourage other walking champions.”

CALS will install a permanent story walk at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center. The story walk will enhance the existing walking trail at the library. Book pages will be placed in display signs along the trail, inviting patrons to follow the path of pages. Mile markers will be placed on each sign allowing participants to measure the distance walked. The story walk will include literature focused on health, wellness, and fitness.

“The story walk is a fun way to connect the love of learning and reading to physical activity,” said CALS Youth Services Coordinator Ellen Samples. “Wellness has been an important part of the library’s goals. Over the last year, we’ve offered more opportunities for library users to get active, learn about healthy eating, and even attend meditation sessions.”

About America Walks: America Walks is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing communities and advocates the resources to advance safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active for all. The organization provides its diverse network of over 30,000 advocates and hundreds of local, state, and national organizations, with the tools, resources, and experts needed to build capacity, gain experiences, and successfully promote walking and walkability. Learn more at