If Edgewood residents planning next Sunday's walk-athon have a slogan, it might be "United we stand." More than anything, they say, they're hoping the 4.6-mile walk will draw neighborhoods together to solve common problems ranging from neglected teen-agers to drug-related crime.
"If we run drugs out of one area, they just go to another. We have to treat Edgewood as a whole," said Anita Sills-Jones, a spokeswoman for NICE, the organization sponsoring the walk.
NICE, which stands for Neighbors Involved in the Community of Edgewood, grew out of the Maryland Project, a Harford County- and state-funded program started last year to identify social problems in Edgewood and target solutions. NICE was created to oversee community groups and help develop strategies.
Representatives from local businesses and government and Aberdeen Proving Ground will be volunteering services during the walk Sunday, said Ms. Sills-Jones. Each walker is asked to bring one item of canned or non-perishable food to be donated to local soup kitchens.
Ms. Sills-Jones said she hopes parents will show up for the walk with their children and get to know other adults in the community. NICE welcomes walkers from throughout the county, she said.
"We're hoping the walk will show we have community spirit and that, yes, we have problems, but we're going to take care of them," she said. "We're starting by getting people together."
The walk begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a pep rally at Edgewood High School on Willoughby Beach Road.
At 9 a.m., walkers will leave via Perry Avenue for Hanson Road. The route continues southwest on Hanson and winds through the neighborhoods of Edgewood Meadows, Meadowood, Harford Square, Woodbridge Center and Edgewater. The walk ends in the parking lot of the Edgewood Fair Lanes on U.S. 40, where refreshments will be served.
Comfort stations will be provided along the way, and APG buses will shuttle walkers from the bowling center back to the school. Harford County sheriff's deputies will escort the marchers.
Walkers may pre-register by calling 679-6083.