A Broome County Health Department employee is embarking on a campaign to encourage people to put one foot in front of the other.

Chelsea Reome is a Community Health Coordinator with the Health Department.

She’s been awarded a Walking College Fellowship through America Walks, a national advocacy organization that promotes walkable communities.

Over the next few months, Reome will research the varied benefits of walking and refine her leadership skills to advocate for local projects.

An avid walker and runner herself, Reome says promoting walking does more than just keep people in shape.

“It can improve the economic environment of a downtown area.  If people are walking by store windows, they’re more likely to window shop and then be drawn in, than if they were driving by in a car.  There’s also those social benefits for communities as well.  If neighbors know one another and trust one another, then people will be more engaged in their community,” said Reome.

Reome’s training will culminate with a trip to Saint Paul, Minnesota for a National Walking Summit in September.

After that, she will submit a Walking Action Plan that could include the creation of walking groups and events and advocate for municipalities to adopt Complete Streets policies that promote better sidewalks and crosswalks.