(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Grace Community Church is holding its first ever “Walk to Church Sunday” event this month, asking its members to get out of their cars on their way to service.
Walk to Church day will be June 22, but those who want to participate can pick up T-shirts and pedometers next Sunday, June 15 in the lobby of the church’s building — it rents space in Thomas Jefferson Middle School, at 125 S. Old Glebe Road — before or after their service.
Building on the success of events like Walk and Bike to School Day, the church is promoting its event as “National Walk 2 Church Day.” While it’s trying to encourage other houses of worship to participate, it’s unclear whether any have joined in on the cause.
The church is asking those not within walking distance to park their cars 15-20 minutes away and walk the rest of the distance.
“Walking is beneficial to your overall health,” the church said in a press release. “This is a great way to get out and get moving and see how many of your church friends and neighbors you spot. We encourage other churches to join us in Walk to Church Sunday.”
Grace Community Church plans for this to be an annual event on the fourth Sunday of June. Churchgoers can walk for either the 9:30 or 11:00 a.m. services.
Not to be confused with Walk and Bike to School Day in October, which has a similar name and a similar mission, Bike and Walk to School Day “encourages students to bike or walk to school while teaching them about the health and environmental benefits of biking and walking.”
“Bike and Walk to School Day also helps to raise community awareness about the importance of bicycle and pedestrian safety education, safe routes to schools, well-maintained walkways, and traffic calming in our neighborhoods and around our schools,” says Bike Arlington, on its website.
The event, held in conjunction with National Bike and Walk to School Day, is a partnership between Arlington Public Schools, Bike Arlington and Walk Arlington.
“APS encourages all families and staff to participate in this event,” said a school system press release. “This energizing event reminds parents and students alike of the simple joy of biking and walking to school while focusing attention on the importance of physical activity, air quality, safety, and bike-able, walkable communities.”
The event will be held in the morning. Students and parents will be greeted at their elementary, middle and high schools by county and school officials and staff. At the schools, giveaways will conducted and “healthy refreshments” will be distributed, according to Bike Arlington.
Update at 3:50 p.m. — “Based on weather forecasts, some schools have opted to postpone their celebrations until Friday, May 10,” according to APS spokesman Frank Bellavia.
The walks, now in their third year, combine light exercise (a one kilometer course through Crystal City’s underground shopping area) with moderate drinking (multiple wine/beer and snack stations are set up along the course).
The 1K wine walks will take place between 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 12 and 13. The 1K beer walks will take place between 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 26 and 27.
The walks will feature “dozens” of varieties of beer and wine, as provided by the Washington Wine Academy.
Registration for the wine walk is $43.50 and includes a t-shirt and 20 tasting tickets. Registration for the beer walk is $38.50 and also includes a t-shirt and 20 tasting tickets.
Tickets can be purchased online. The course begins at the section of the Crystal City Shops closest to 2200 Crystal Drive.
Photo courtesy Crystal City BID. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Today was “Walk and Bike to School Day” in Arlington and across the country.
The annual event in Arlington, organized by Arlington Public Schools (with the help of local PTAs), encourages students and parents to bike and walk to school more often. At Oakridge Elementary School, this year’s “spotlight school” for Walk and Bike to School Day, hundreds of students and parents walked, biked or even scootered to school.
Arlington County Police kept a close eye on the roads around the school in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood. Busy Arlington Ridge Road was temporarily shut down to allow a large convoy of kids and adults on bikes to make their way to the school, safely, from a “rest stop” at the historic Hume School (1805 S. Arlington Ridge Road).
After students arrived they gathered behind the school for a rally, featuring words of encouragement from Oakridge principal Dr. Lynne Wright, County Board member Walter Tejada, and ultramarathon runner (and Arlington resident) Michael Wardian. Wardian, along with some local triathletes and competitive cyclists, led students in a series of light physical activities.
APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy said Walk and Bike to School Day is a fun event that sends an important message about staying physically fit.
“I think the message is [encouraging] a well-balanced lifestyle,” he said. “We want to emphasize many of the things that the community values here. Biking and walking is part of the community, part of our value system, and I also think it’s something we want to encourage kids to do.”
Some parents weren’t fully sold on the message, though. One parent, armed with petition forms, wore signs protesting changes to the school system’s busing policies. Nearby, a minivan also had words of protest scrawled on its back window. The changes have meant that some students now have to either walk, bike or be driven to school since they’re no longer eligible to ride a school bus.
County Fair Starts Today — The Arlington County Fair officially kicks off today at 5:00 p.m. The first racing piglet competition will take place at 5:30 p.m. The fair will run through Sunday at 10:00 p.m. [Arlington County Fair]
‘Pike Hike’ Scheduled for Sunday — WalkArlington is sponsoring a new community “walkabout” timed to coincide with the county fair. Pike Hike II Junior Walkabout will take participants on a family-friendly stroll of the Columbia Pike town center area from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 12. Sights along the way include the Pike farmers market and the Columbia Pike Branch Library. Participants will also get a free ticket to take the shuttle from the Arlington Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) to the fair. [CommuterPage Blog]
Libertarian Tries to Make Ballot — An independent candidate who has the support of the Libertarian Party is trying to make it on the Sept. 4 ballot for the 45th District House of Delegates seat. So far only Democrat Rob Krupicka and Republican Tim McGhee has been confirmed for the ballot in the race to succeed Del. David Englin. [Sun Gazette]
Large Crowd for BBQ Bike Ride — There was a large turnout last night for a barbeque and group ride from the Freshbikes store in Virginia Square. With the assistance of Arlington County police, the weekly ride takes cyclists from the store, up Military Road to the intersection with Glebe Road, and back. [Ode Street Tribune]
Flickr pool by Damiec
The first occurred around 11:15 p.m. in the 3300 block of Washington Blvd, according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. A 26-year-old female walked home alone after having spent a night out with friends. After she typed in the security code to open her garage door and walked inside the garage, she noticed the suspect standing at the bottom of her driveway. She became frightened and tried to close the automated garage door, but the man allegedly rushed toward her and stuck his hand over a sensor, causing the door to re-open. She made it inside the house, locked the door and called police while the suspect fled the scene.
According to Sternbeck, the victim described the suspect as a black man with a dark complexion and short hair, about 5’11″, 200 pounds and around 30 years of age. At the time, he had been wearing khaki pants and a red and white checkered shirt. The victim noted that she saw the suspect wearing black gloves when he put his hand over the garage sensor.
About an hour later, an individual matching the same description is believed to have attacked a woman in the 2100 block of Lee Highway. The 24-year-old female was walking home alone when the suspect allegedly grabbed and sexually assaulted her. The woman struggled and managed to punch the suspect in the stomach. He then reportedly threw her in some bushes and fled.
This victim told police that the suspect had covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming, and was wearing black gloves.
“Based on their descriptions and the similiarities in the incidents, we believe it’s the same individual,” Sternbeck said.
Police are reminding people to be aware of their surroundings, not to walk alone and to carry a cell phone for emergencies. Walkers are warned not to put themselves in vulnerable situations, or to have the “that can’t happen to me” mentality.
“We want people to be educated if they’re going to be out late at night,” Sternbeck said. “These are things you need to be aware of.”
Anybody with information about the suspect that may lead to his arrest is asked to call the police non-emergency number, at 703-558-2222.