When long-time cyclist Kelley Walton moved to Jupiter, Florida she was surprised at how difficult it was to bicycle for transportation. Walton found herself in an unsafe bicycling environment with wide streets, high speed limits, few bike lanes, and non-existent shoulders. “That first ride was very upsetting because, as a biker, I felt very unwelcome and unwanted on the streets of my new home,” she said.
As a participant in the Palm Healthcare Foundation’s Healthier Together Digital StoryMapping Workshop, Walton created a video story about the dangers of biking in Jupiter and has started collecting bicycle crash data that she will put into a map to further her case for a more bike friendly city.
Walton was one of a half-dozen community activists that gathered for the workshop as part of the launch of the new Healthier Together Initiative. Lead by a team from Creative Narrations, participants were taught video editing skills and received a crash-course in navigating the Community Commons mapping environment.
“While we’ve taught place-based storytelling for years, this workshop marked the first time we were simultaneously teaching digital storytelling and GIS mapping skills,” said Tasha Freidus, founder and co-director of Creative Narrations. “Partnering with the Community Commons team to bring this tool to life has allowed us to accomplish a long-term goal of bringing together stories and statistics to provide communities with ways to portray the complexity of health disparities ”
By integrating storytelling and mapping in their neighborhood-funding model, Healthier Together is hoping to inspire and collaborate with community leaders and residents to target and solve health issues from the inside out.
“When a team of community leaders and residents develops a shared vision and common goals to address a critical health issue and everyone helps carry out the plan, the entire neighborhood grows stronger, greater and healthier together.”— Mark Cook, Chair, Palm Healthcare Foundation
Alfred Williams grew up in Riviera Beach, Florida and, until he went to college, had never heard of a free health clinic. To him, healthcare seemed to be something for families with money, not for him. “My parents didn’t have a lot of money,” said Williams. “They had no idea about the health services that were offered for free.”
His goal now is to bring awareness to families about services available to them. Williams’ video has been embedded in maps highlighting free or low-cost health clinics, health fairs, or other events. This map below includes Alfred’s story and all available service providers in his immediate neighborhood.
These stories, and more, now live on the Healthier Together site where residents can use the videos and maps to start conversations around health in their neighborhoods. As one workshop participants explained, this is just the beginning. “My wheels are turning right now…”
Would you like to bring mapping and storytelling together for your health initiative? Contact us to find out how.