History Story (better a story)…this is our story and we are sticking to it!
An idea, a concept, inspiration, the need to change the world one project at a time, passion or just thinking outside of the box. Community connectivity, social integration, healthier communities, whatever floats your boat “or whatever powers your spirit or fun…your bike, running/walking shoes, skates”…
Here is the scoop about where we came from…make sure you check out the video part of the story:
Streets Alive of SWFL was formerly known as Streets Alive Lee, a project born in 2011 with the Healthy Lee Coalition and the support of the Florida Department of Health in Lee County and completely run with the help of volunteers. Streets Alive Lee was thought to be an actualization of the global phenomenon known as “Ciclovía.” The concept of Ciclovía (translation from Spanish is “bike path”), began in the city of Bogotá, Colombia in 1976.
Still active today, Bogotá’s Ciclovía boasts the largest and longest-running Ciclovía in the world. The weekly event draws more than 1.5 million people to walk, bike, or skate while enjoying more than 70 miles of streets opened to the people and activities along the route free of cars (yes you read that right, some streets are closed to cars and opened to people to exercise and have fun). It is not a fair. It is human powered physical activity and fun for the whole family.
Following Bogotá’s example, many cities around the world and the U.S., including Portland, Chicago, New York, Venice, and Baltimore have created their own versions of the Ciclovía…all you need is roads!
Streets Alive Lee implemented 2 of these events in Fort Myers in 2013 and 2014 with over 20,000 people in attendance (yes, you read that right… in Fort Myers!). Bogota, Colombia and other places in the world have this event every Sunday, Some towns in the United States have it once a month.It is an event that boosts economic development, opens the door to community engagement, increases social interaction, brings families together, and provides fun, healthy activities for all regardless of social status or physical condition. It empowers a healthy community using existing infrastructure!
It takes a village, political power, money, human resources, and lots of logistics to say the least to put these events together so Streets Alive Lee took a break from organizing the events since the last one in 2014 but other fun initiatives have been taking place since then, all powered by the Board of Directors (volunteer based working board…the thinkers, the doers, the dreamers).
Revamping the name to serve a larger geographical area; Streets Alive Lee changed its name to Streets Alive of SWFL in 2016 and made its mission statement wider in order to serve the community in other aspects, while still maintaining the intent to have Streets Alive “the event” (Ciclovía)as an activity in the SWFL area.
Streets Alive of SWFL’s mission statement is “Fostering a livable community through activities, advocacy, education and service.”
With the new name and mission statement, Streets Alive of SWFL has been working on many great projects with different organizations to support the community of SWFL. Make sure you check out “our work” to see what this is all about!!!
One more thing that is part of our history story: to make history we need human power (human resources) so make sure you check out our get involved tab and sign up to volunteer, be part of our board, or be a donor, and make history with us…we would love to have you!
(Streets Alive of SWFL is a 501(c)3 local non-profit)