Imagine a community event drawing hundreds of families to walk, run, bike and be active right in the open streets of Immokalee - Ciclovia!
The Immokalee CRA is part of a wide coalition of organizations - led by the Safe & Healthly Children's Coalition of Collier County - to bring such an event to Immokalee beginning in February and each first Saturday of the months through November.
The Safe & Healthy Children's Coaltion has partnered in the effort with the Florida State University College of Medicine and the University of Florida Family Nutrition Program, both of which have a presence in Immokalee.
"We have met twice with many community agencies and everyone is very excited to bring this wonderful initiative to Immokalee," said Safe & Health Children's Coalition Executive Director Paula DiGrigoli. "We can all picture this being successful in Immokalee."
If permits are granted and the planning goes smoothly, Ciclovia would be centered around the Immokalee Sports Complex and the Collier County iTech Center, creating a open and public pavilion for families to enjoy the great outdoors and engage in healthy, active movement.
The broad coalition of planning groups and agencines includes Collier County Parks and Recreation Department, Immokalee Chamber of Commerce, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Immokalee Housing and Family Services, Department of Health in Naples, , Healthcare Network of SW Florida, Immokalee Foundation, Family Literacy Academy of Immokalee, along with the CRA.
The next planning meeting is set for November 3 at noon at the CareerSource of SW Florida, 750 South 5th St. Immokalee.
Ciclovia (also referred to as Open Streets) is based on the Spanish word for "cycle path" and became a weekly tradition in Bogotá, Colombia, where it began. Bogota temporarily closes major city streets to car traffic and converts them into safe and open, car-free environments for families to run, bike, play and be well together. The events are part of a global movement for open activities areas in major cities organized by the Open Streets Project.
The Ciclovia has become a worldwide phenomenon reaching Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Israel, India and dozens of cities across the United States. Ciclovia is a celebration of physical activity, healthy movement, and active transportation.
Ciclovia on video from Bogota: