The Lawton Fort Sill Open Streets Committee and its partnering agencies will host the “Open Streets Hits the Streets” initiative in lieu of the traditional Fall 2020 Open Streets.

The event, which will celebrate the community and the idea of Open Streets through “selfies,” runs through Oct. 12.

The health-based Open Streets initiative is coordinated biannually through the Fit Kids of Southwest Oklahoma, Comanche County Memorial Hospital TSET Healthy Living Program and the City of Lawton to encourage healthy behaviors and lifestyles. Scheduling this year had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the committee created the Open Streets Hits the Streets concept to offer a new way for citizens to get moving with friends and family.

“This alternative initiative still supports everything that Open Streets is about and allows community members to practice healthy activities in fun and safe ways, at their own time,” said Tiffany Martinez Vrska, Open Streets committee member and the City of Lawton community relations director.

Open Streets has traditionally existed to serve four key purposes: Creating a sense of community, revitalizing Downtown Lawton, promoting active transportation and encouraging healthy lifestyles. During Open Streets Hits the Streets, citizens can document their participation by taking selfies/photos at applicable events or while participating in applicable activities in those four broad areas. Selfies/photos then may be sent into the Open Streets committee, with senders becoming eligible for prizes for completing the challenge.

Examples of participation include:

• Creating a Sense of Community: A selfie/photo of an individual or group safely volunteering for a service project or attending a community meeting.

• Revitalizing Downtown Lawton: A selfie/photo at a local shop on downtown C Avenue, at the mall or at the Museum of the Great Plains.

• Promoting Active Transportation: A selfie/photo of a person riding a bike or walking on a sidewalk.

• Encouraging Healthy Lifestyle: A selfie/photo of a person eating fruits and vegetables or at a yoga studio.

Participants should send all four photos in at one time to fitkidsofswok@gmail.com. They will be contacted to claim their prize. Prizes are while supplies last and will be distributed during November.

Various community partners are taking part in Open Streets Hits the Streets as Stop Spots. At these locations, community partners may challenge citizens to do something like 10 jumping jacks as part of the event’s initiatives and take their photo while doing so, which could count as a participant’s selfie/photo in the category of Encouraging Healthy Lifestyle.

“We have already had such a positive response from our community partners for Open Streets Hits the Streets,” Vrska said. “I have seen some Stop Spot signs already posted on partner doors and windows, and we can’t wait to see all the fun activities they have planned for citizens.”

Additional information is available through the City of Lawton website, lawtonok.gov, or by calling (580) 581-3375.

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