Bloomfield Launches Community Bike and Walk Program
Great news from Bloomfield Department of Health & Human Services (BDHHS)! On April 18, 2021, BDHHS in collaboration with the Bloomfield Police and Parks & Recreation launched a Community Walk and Bike initiative. With over 40 registered participants – from the youngest walkers to the eldest from the community – the turnout was great for day 1. The group, led by New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition (NJBWC) consultant Liz Brady, started out from the Township parking lot through the town’s business center, Six Points at Bloomfield station, turning at Ashland and Evergreen Avenues, past Watsessing Park on Bloomfield Avenue/ Congers Street and finally ending back at the Township parking lot; a total of 1.7 miles was covered in 45 minutes with continuous police escort, ensuring pedestrian safety throughout the walk. Additionally, Sergeant Joe Corio highlighted businesses, historical features, and latest renovations throughout the walking path.
This program is intended to be a 12-week program. Weekend dates planned for the future include – 5/2, 6/6, 6/27 for biking AND 5/16, 6/20 for walking. Registrants will automatically be enrolled into a raffle for prizes coordinated through Bloomfield Alliance Center – Anthony’s Cheesecake Restaurant, Eastern School of Acupuncture & Traditional Medicine, Jack’s Super Foodtown, Murdoch Shoes, and Rarebreed Mixed Martial are a few of the businesses in town donating prizes and/or giveaways.
BDHHS and partners recognize the need to ensure such programs are sustainable among residents and community members and as such plans are underway to announce dates and times for group walks during the work week, also led by a NJBW consultant. Plans are in place for continuous evaluations to ensure the program remains viable to participants post 12 weeks; suggestions being considered include the distribution of a pedometer to all registrants, safety ensured walking routes and a variety of these, as well as the installation of GPS enabled walking trackers around town.
Regarding BDHHS collaboration with Bloomfield Community Garden Plan to incorporate more inclusive practices and increase access to gardeners who are differently abled – plans have been approved and gardeners are working hard to get the gardens (Millbank Park and Pulaski Park) up and running. Upgrades for increased accessibility – raised beds for those with limited mobility or use wheelchair – are moving forward with an estimated completion by mid-Summer 2021. Plans for a multi-generational gardening are underway for Fall 2021.
About the Grantee
The Bloomfield Department of Health & Human Services' mission is to prevent disease and promote physical and mental well-being through policy development, disease detection, prevention, education, and enforcement. We aim to do so in a culturally competent manner that ensures the highest quality of life for the residents we serve.