PORTLAND, Maine — Making friends can be challenging, especially in a new city. But there's a group in Portland that's all about helping you make new friends and much more.
"City Girls Who Walk" is a Facebook group that meets every Sunday at 12 p.m. at Longfellow Square to go for a walk.
The group was started by Grace Nelson, who moved to Portland from St. Louis and knew firsthand how difficult it can be to make new friends.
"It's hard to find your group, especially in a new city," Nelson said. "When I moved here, I didn't know anyone or work with anyone my age."
Nelson took to social media to start the group, looking for girls who might want to pound the pavement in Portland.
"I thought it was a great way to meet people," Nelson said.
The group is not just about getting exercise. It's also about helping friendships form.
"Meeting new people can be very intimidating," Elizabeth Day, a member of the group, said. "But meeting up and walking is a great way to meet them without having to be scared to meet up."
Since it was started, a year ago, "City Girls Who Walk" has grown to over a thousand members in the Facebook group. It's become a safe place for women in their 20s and 30s.
The group has expanded beyond just walking. Since it was created, it has become a place for women to find apartments and roommates, find jobs, join other clubs, and simply ask each other for advice.
"It's cool to see it's not just walking anymore," said Nelson.
You don't have to be new to the area to join. Elizabeth Day grew up in Brunswick but moved away for college.
"Coming back up to Maine, I wanted to meet new people," Day said. "It was a great way to make new friends."
"City Girls Who Walk" is an example of the power of social media.
"It's amazing that I have these friends for life that I just met over a Facebook walking group," Nelson said.
You can click here to find the Facebook page.