By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury couple Laura Moore Spangenberg and her husband Scott love walking. To pass the time during the pandemic, they decided to take walks. Now they are on a mission to walk every street in town – all 711 of them.
That’s the number of streets in Shrewsbury, as reported by Andrew Truman, town engineer with the Department of Public Works.
“Why not?” Laura asked. “We like to walk anyway and we walk pretty routinely but more like out the door and around the neighborhood and maybe down to Dean Park and back.”
When the Community Advocate caught up with them at Edgemere Park June 4, they were about a third of the way into their project, having logged 135 miles.
It all started around March 13 when Governor Charlie Baker issued his “Stay-at-Home” guidance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Laura is a fourth-grade teacher at Floral Street School in Shrewsbury and Scott is in management with BJ’s Wholesale Club. Her last day of teaching in the school was also March 13 and Scott has been working from home as well.
Not happy with the idea of being cooped up, Scott said that if they were going to be forced to stay at home, they might as well do something to challenge themselves. They had gone to Purgatory Chasm but found that to be a bit too crowded and uncomfortable while trying to maintain social distance.
“So I said, ‘Let’s walk every street in Shrewsbury’ and she said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’” Scott noted.
He mapped out the town by using Google Maps, which was easy enough. He said that the town is already naturally broken up into four quadrants. So he put the maps together and tacked them up on a wall in their home so they could track their progress.
“We went first to the part of town that we didn’t know which is north of 290,” she explained.
“We have finished the quadrant west of Route 140 and north of Route 9.”
When asked about what they found to be most interesting while out and about, Scott remarked: “Just discovering things we didn’t know about Shrewsbury… right across from Oak Middle School there is a classic log cabin.”
“It’s noticing those little things,” Laura noted. “It’s such a diverse town and it’s such an interesting town.”
While she is amazed by all the tiny little streets and lanes that are right next to Lake Quinsigamond having walked each one, they will not be walking high traffic areas without sidewalks such as sections of Routes 9 and 20, for safety reasons.
They are clearly having a great time with this project.
“Just explore the place you live and get out and walk,” Scott said. “It is more interesting than you would think.”