How big is Redwood Falls?

That’s the question Sandi Swartz and her walk buddy, Robin Stegner, decided to answer.

The friends decided they needed a challenge for their summer walking program. The idea of walking every residential street in the city sounded like an interesting goal.

After cutting the city map out of a phone book, the two began in (former) North Redwood, then hit the Baker Addition, the Westfalls neighborhood (both west of the Redwood River) and then walked all the north /south streets, finishing with the east/west streets.

Speed was never their goal. They were hoping the project would last from May through September.

They knew they would find interesting homes and gardens and would walk on streets they had never had a reason to be on.

They were also intending to give cheerful greetings to the residents they came upon and were anticipating seeing children playing in their yards.

To their disappointment, they found few adults enjoying their yards and gardens the mornings they walked. The only children they saw were at the Reede Gray playground.

What made the adventure fun, though, was seeing many beautiful gardens and imaginative decor on home-dwellers front doors.

Their takeaway?

“Our town looks good,” said Swartz. “Most homes’ yards are well maintained. We saw a lot of creativity and imagination in landscaping, gardens and decoration.”

Added Stegner, “On almost every walk we saw something that delighted or surprised us. We discovered streets and neighborhoods that were new to us, even though we’ve both lived in Redwood Falls for many years.”

“Our only regret,” added Swartz, “is that Redwood Falls isn’t bigger. We were hoping this project would last longer.”

So how big is Redwood Falls?

Walking an average of an hour at a time, about two miles per walk, it took 21 days to cover the town.

They walked a total of 120,300 steps, 22 hours, and logged 42 miles.

How far would 42 miles be if walked in a straight line?

It is the distance between the Redwood Falls airport and the City of Gaylord.