Steptember Starts Off on The Right Foot

Rain or shine Oregonians love to get out and walk. Last month, we walked over 60 miles with nearly 600 people to celebrate STEPtember. Steptember is a month of walking fun - a way to encourage people throughout the region to find new places to walk and people to enjoy walking with. Oregon Walks conceived Walktober (STEPtember's predecessor) in 2011 to promote walking as a fun, healthy, ubiquitous activity in the Portland metro region. This year, we decided to get a jump on all the walking fun.


We kicked off our inaugural STEPtember in Downtown Portland, at Hair of the Dog, who generously donated 10% of proceeds from the entire day to Oregon Walks! Sadly, smoke drifted in from the Columbia River Gorge fires the first week of STEPtember -luckily, we had to cancel only one walk in the Lloyd District. Otherwise, the air quality didn’t get us down; we walked with some rabble-rousers to testify at City Hall, our friends at Gateway Green showed off their brand new natural area, and Green Lents toured the Lents Green Ring with renters all later that week.

Go Lloyd’s Employer Outreach/ Pedestrian Program Manager, Hope Estes, hosted 9 walks this STEPtember! Throughout the month, we learned about Lloyd’s public art, parks and open spaces, and new development coming to this rapidly changing neighborhood. The City of Portland hosted two Ten Toes Express walks this year, one in NW Portland along the stairways of Nob Hill and another with Laura Foster exploring the hidden pathways in Downtown Portland.


One quarter of our walks during Steptember took place east of 82nd Avenue, where we’ve been directing our advocacy work. We explored many parts of East Portland that need improvements like along 82nd Ave and outer Halsey. We were pleased to have two elected officials join us on for the chance to hear from people like you - Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran.


We also walked with our friends and partners at Portland Public Schools. Walking with Woodlawn Elementary in King and Woodmere Elementary in Brentwood-Darlington gave us the opportunity to circle back with parents, students, faculty and staff about Safe Routes to School, following up on our Healthy Travels Options to School walks that took place last spring. Due to the one thunderstorm, we had this month, we had to reschedule our walk with Scott Elementary in Cully to October 4th, which is National Walk & Bike to School Day!

We couldn't have asked for better turnout, better weather, and better walks and most importantly, walkstars like YOU for our first STEPtember - thanks for making this month of exploring on foot a wonderful success!

Find more photos from STEPtember here.