UMass Boston

UMass Boston Faculty Receive America Walks Grant to Install GRACE Trail on HarborWalk

01/23/2020| Colleen Locke

UMass Boston Selected From More Than 400 Applications

A portion of UMass Boston's HarborWalk, where there are currently benches and plantings
A portion of UMass Boston's HarborWalk, where there are currently benches and plantings
Image By: Harry Brett

Selected from more than 400 applications, UMass Boston is one of the 19 organizations to receive a Community Change Grant from America Walks, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing communities and advocates the resources to advance safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active for all.

The $1,500 grant will allow Associate Professor of Exercise and Health Sciences Sarah M. Camhi and Senior Lecturer in Nursing Linda Chiofar to co-lead and install a Gratitude, Release, Acceptance, Challenges, and Empowerment (GRACE) Trail along a one-mile portion of UMass Boston’s HarborWalk - the walking path that runs along the Boston Harbor shoreline, connecting campus to the waterfront.

“The development of the GRACE Trail, modeled after the original waterfront trail in Plymouth, Massachusetts, will allow us to spread this opportunity for well-being to the greater Boston community as well as our own UMass Boston and Harbor Point communities,” Chiofar said.

UMass Boston’s GRACE Trail will provide a stress reducing and health promoting opportunity for individuals to complete a mindful walk. The trail will include maps, information, reflective questions, and small decorated cairns strategically placed along the trail to encourage personal growth and healing for a diverse community. Goals are to connect the Harbor Point community with a public trail that promotes increasing physical activity and mindfulness, add a stress management tool for students to support their academic success, and add official distance markers that coincide with the GRACE Trail to enhance its use for health, fitness, and wellness. 

“Our Departments of Exercise and Health Sciences and Nursing in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences are passionate about health and wellness promotion. This contemplative opportunity for healing will offer a mindful approach to walking and expand physical activity opportunities to all while enjoying the beautiful Boston coast and skyline along the UMass Boston portion of the HarborWalk,” Camhi said.

UMass Boston students, staff, and/or faculty interested in participating can contact Sarah Camhi at

This is the fifth year America Walks has awarded Community Change Grants. Supported by organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, Lyft, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD), Oregon Walks, and WalkBoston, the Community Change Grant program provides funds that support grassroots efforts aimed at creating safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and move. 

About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 10 colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit