By Scott Scanlon
Want to get so fit you might impress the first lady?
Michelle Obama isn’t likely to be in Buffalo on Sunday, but chances are that one of the activities taking place in the Promise Neighborhood would really spark her interest. In any case, it could make you healthier.
The city is one of only 10 spots in the country that has received a “Play Streets” grant, designed to close off a different swath of streets so that bicyclists and pedestrians can have free rein on them.
Police and organizers will barricade parts of Manhattan and Mercer avenues and Hill Street in the Promise Neighborhood from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
“We’ll have everything from mobile repair bike shops to Zumba classes,” said Justin Booth, executive director from Go Bike Buffalo, the nonprofit group that landed the $50,000 grant for the Play Streets program. “It’s really trying to engage people in lots of different activities, physical activities, things people can do to make themselves healthier, but also try to build community and make healthier and safer neighborhoods.
The program is championed by BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the Partnership for a Healthier America, of which the first lady is honorary chairwoman.
Play Streets is designed to address childhood obesity in city neighborhoods.
Walking, jogging, skating and bike riding are encouraged. Dancing, sports and other physical activities also are part of the fun, as is information about healthy eating. Locally grown foods also will be available; on Sunday, that will be courtesy of the Massachusetts Avenue Project.
Future Play Streets days are:
• June 2 – Masten District (Wohlers and Northland)
• July 7 – Seneca Street (between Peabody Street and Oakdale Place)
• Aug. 4 – Allentown (Allen Street)
• Sept. 1 - West Side (Rees Street – Richardson Complex of Buffalo State College)
The program is free and open to the entire community.
For more information, visit www.gobikebuffalo.org.