CONTACT: Philip Haberstro, BeActive@City-Buffalo.org, 716-851-4052


BUFFALO, NY (February 1, 2018) –The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and its community partners announced its 2018 Walking to Wellness campaign today, including an ambitious goal to reach 100 MILLION steps walked/rolled by local participants this year. The campaign supports ongoing national and local programs such as the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to promote walking and walkable communities, Erie County’s Million Hearts Initiative, and the Population Health Collaborative Regional WNY Healthy Communities Coalition, whose focus is on physical activity.

In 2017, community members organized walks in Delaware Park, local shopping malls, the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus, Delevan Grider Community Center and downtown Buffalo, surpassing a goal of 50 million steps by 76 million steps attained. Wellness Institute partner Explore Buffalo led the way, contributing 39 million steps toward the goal, along with help from fellow partners Refresh Magazine, Visit Buffalo Niagara and the City B-Well Program.

Wellness Institute Executive Director, Philip L. Haberstro noted, “The Wellness Institute is working strategically to increase physical activity by improving community walkability and access to trails and parks.” The Wellness Institute’s Walking to Wellness initiative has been recognized as a ‘community best practice’ by New York State’s Department of Health. Additionally, Wellness Institute staff member Sarah K. Martin was awarded an America Walks fellowship to strengthen the Institute’s capability to improve walkability.”

The Walking to Wellness 2018 goal of 100 million steps is accompanied by the availability of a walkability assessment DVD and toolkit. Several upcoming walks have been scheduled, and more will be coming from multiple community partners throughout the year. Walkers may enjoy free organized walks, guided by an experienced, professional staff member, at the following locations in 2018:

  • Weekly Wednesday morning walks in February and March from 9:00 am to 9:30 am. All walkers entered in a door prize drawing. RSVP by phone: (716) 851-4052 or email: BeActive@city-buffalo.org.
  • Mall Walks: Held at local area malls the last four Fridays of March. On-Site Registration at 8:30 am, walks at 9:15 am. Dates & location to be determined. Each walk includes a door prize drawing, health and wellness resources, health screenings, light healthy refreshments, and an opportunity to meet new people and socialize. If school district in which the mall is located is closed due to weather, (Amherst Central Schools or Cheektowaga Central Schools) the walk is canceled.
  • Reflective Walks at Delaware Park: Held March through November on the first Sunday of the month, 10:45 am to 11:30 am. Walks are one-to-two miles and begin and end at the Hoyt Lake, Marcy Casino area. Routes will alternate through Delaware Park based on the season. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Art & Architecture, History & Nature (C-SAAHN).
  • National Walk at Lunch Day: Wednesday, April 26
  • Downtown Walks: First four Wednesdays of May, May 2 – 30.
  • BNMC Walks: Wednesdays from May 31 – August 30, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Persons interested in walking can join any of the Wellness Institute’s walks to have their steps counted toward the 2018 Walking to Wellness goal total. For event listings and further details, visit CreatingHealthyCommunities.org to view our calendar of events. Community organizations and area employers who wish to be a part of this countywide Walking to Wellness and Health Improvement Initiative may contact Phil Haberstro or Sarah Martin at 716-851-4052 or BeActive@City-Buffalo.org.


The nonprofit Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo & WNY celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2014, and provides facilitation, support, and programs for healthy communities utilizing an interdisciplinary model that addresses Environmental, Civic, Economic, and Human Health.

*Save the Date*

Event: Building a Healthy Buffalo & WNY Community Panel & Discussion featuring Dr. Kate Kraft, CEO America Walks

Date: Saturday, February 3rd 2018

Location: St. Teresa Parish Center; 1974 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210

Event Details:

  • 9:15 AM: Registration/Networking
  • 10:00 AM: Keynote presentation by Dr. Kate Kraft, CEO America Walks
  • 11:00 AM: Panel Discussion
  • 12 Noon: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM: Walkability training

Cost: FREE

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Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo

Phil Haberstro, Executive Director
65 Niagara Square, Room 607
Buffalo, NY  14202

Phone: 716-851-4052