Creating community, one step at a time
"Walk All Over Hillsboro" wants residents to learn more about their town out and beyond their own neighborhood.
Every week, a 45-minute walk for adults, children, and even dogs, explores different neighborhoods and is led by resident Cindy Cosenzo. After launching in July, the next walk is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 13 beginning at 7 p.m. at Northwest 194th Terrace behind the Tanasbourne Macy's.
Like many of Cosenzo's programming, the scheduled walks, launched back in July, are made for everyone and anyone, she said, and really started because she wants to encourage people to connect in a screen-driven world.
Back in 2003, Cosenzo created AgeCelebration, a community programming group with the sole goal to "create community and foster human connection."
Today, it has countless opportunities for residents to get out there and meet, and support local businesses.
After living in several places during the past several years, Cosenzo moved to Hillsboro after being unsure where to call "her home," she said.
"Every time I moved, someone would ask why I haven't bought a house, and I would say I never really liked it there and didn't want to stay," Cosenzo said. "I never felt like those places were home and that I was finished moving. When we moved here, within six weeks, I said to my husband that I wanted to buy a house. It just feels like home."
AgeCelebration is her business, and she consults with organizations like senior centers to design ways for its residents to experience meeting others and trying new things they might not have. One of the perks of the job is knowing the ins and outs of Hillsboro and what it has to offer, she said.
"I'm out in the community all the time. For me, Hillsboro is one, big, exciting place," Cosenzo said. "I noticed that as the place get bigger, some people decide that one neighborhood is their neighborhood and not necessarily identifying with all of Hillsboro. We want people to still feel part of the whole."
Walk All Over Hillsboro, while the newest program on the block, is already making a difference in the area, she said.
"Any people who like walking could meet each other, (which is) my number one goal, but also to say, 'Oh, this is cool, I'll come back here again,'" Cosenzo said. "Just doing something once can make you feel familiar and be encouraged to do it again."
The walk can last up to an hour, and is about two miles with an easy pace. Cosenzo likes to share information about the neighborhood the walk begins in, and then watches people meet right before her eyes.
"People are going to neighborhoods they don't usually go to," Cosenzo said. "The whole thing is to grow this so the neighborhood goes out and once they meet other people, they are motivated to come to other neighborhoods."
AgeCelebration has programming including:
¦ Walk with Friends Hillsboro
¦ Walk All Over Hillsboro
¦ Walk with a Librarian
¦ Hillsboro Community Pickleball
¦ Team AgeCelebration volunteering
¦ I Love Hillsboro+ educational travel
¦ Healthy U Community Wellness series
¦ Our Community Kitchen community potluck
¦ Lawn Chair Chats
¦ Friday Mornings @ Meriwether
¦ Community Greeters (Eastwood Elementary)
¦ Community Readers (Eastwood Elementary)
¦ Intergenerational Cursive Class (Eastwood Elementary)
¦ (Coming soon!) Connection Club (Eastwood Elementary)
¦ Monday Morning Math Club
¦ Cornhole in the Park
¦ WannaGo? Email Connector
¦ Love Me Some Local flash deals to support local business
AgeCelebration offers community classes:
¦ You're Welcome: A Creating Community class
¦ Quiet Mind Open Heart (Peaceful Day)
Have a route where you think Cosenzo should organize a walk? Cosenzo invites residents to reach out to her with ideas. To keep up-to-date on the latest with AgeCelebration events, visit its Facebook and Meetup page.
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