Shared use agreement and red footprints give Norwood residents more options to get moving

Posted by Donna Laake on Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Last November, Norwood was awarded a WeTHRIVE! Community Wellness Mini-Grant. Little did I know back then the far-reaching impact WeTHRIVE! would have on my community!

wooded nature trail at Xavier University

Part of the WeTHRIVE! process involved Norwood working with another organization or community to give our residents access to more spaces for physical activity. As our WeTHRIVE! team considered options, I thought about the wonderful outdoor spaces located on our neighbor Xavier University’s campus. How great would it be if our residents could play tennis, sand volleyball or basketball on Xavier’s outdoor courts...enjoy nature on their walking trail...or play pick-up soccer games on the sports fields?

When I told other city officials about this idea, I was met with skepticism. But Xavier was more than happy to do what we all learned in kindergarten…to share! In fact, it turns out that Xavier’s Community Building Institute specializes in helping communities share assets. We now have a shared use agreement that allows our residents to use Xavier’s outdoor facilities when they are not in use by students.

red footprint path norwood ohio

We knew we also wanted to help people get moving right here in Norwood. So resident Jesse Layne designed footprints (yes, both right and left!) and painted them in one-mile paths on curbs throughout the city. Look for these red footprints around our school and city buildings. Following them is an easy way to take a one-mile walk!

For information about using Xavier’s outdoor facilities, our new red footprint paths, and more places and ways to stay active and healthy in Norwood, check out our new brochure

Norwood is proud to be a WeTHRIVE! community! To see what else we are doing, visit Norwood’s community page on

Donna Laake leads Norwood’s WeTHRIVE! team and is president of the Norwood City Council.

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April 2, 2018