River’s Way is encouraging businesses, civic groups, non-profits and government organizations to join us in promoting walking as a way to increase physical activity levels and to build social connections in our community.  Walking is an activity that people of all abilities are able to do.  River’s Way participants with differing abilities have proven that walking can become a vital part of everyday living, especially now that we have to live with COVID-19. We believe that people with differing abilities belong in our greater community and that they are able to make that community better.  By joining young people with differing abilities who are participating in the River’s Way Walking Challenge, you will be benefiting yourself, benefiting those young people with differing abilities and benefiting Bristol.

In order to participate in the River’s Way Walking Challenge, we ask that individuals establish a walking challenge group.  That group can be made up of fellow employees, friends, club members or church members. We recommend that there be at least 10 people involved in a group.  Once your group agrees to take part in the challenge and once they have selected a group leader, group members will take the following steps:

  1. Everyone in the group downloads the MapMyWalk app onto their phones.

  2.  All group members sign up on the River’s Way web site in order to receive communications from River’s Way and to become participants in the challenge.

  3. Group members view the River’s Way Instructional video for community based groups.

  4. Group members become friends with each other on MapMyWalk.

  5. One group member becomes the group leader.  The group leader will also sign up in the

  6. Group members start walking. Each time they walk (or run or bicycle), they record the workout using the MapMyWalk app. All group members are then able to see the workouts of fellow group members.  Group members can provide support and encouragement for each other by making comments on each person’s postings.

  7. Group members will receive weekly email updates from River’s Way. Updates will include stories from special education classes and from other community based groups.  These emails will help to build a sense of community since community based groups will see each others’ progress as well as the progress of special education classes that are also participating in the challenge.