National Fall 2016 Share Your Story Award Winner
Blossom Hill/Los Gatos Monte Sereno Safe Routes to School, California
This is the story of a great community effort with an amazing ending. Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Safe Routes to School is a collaborative effort in our community, tapping into the talents of the police department, fire department, local businesses, local government, and private and public schools to encourage the entire community to participate in active transportation. This fall, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Safe Routes to School launched the “Where Will Your Feet Take You?” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to invite students and families to use active transportation for the school commute. To help with the encouragement, we invited prominent local officials, (mayor, chief of police, etc.) to greet students on the first day of school and hand out walk and bike maps. Students also received pedometers to begin to track steps to school and we set a goal to collect enough steps to get the Washington, D.C. before the November 8th Election. Soon students were logging steps and parents were joining in the fun. The entire community was walking and rolling! In September and October, they logged over 5 million steps and close to 2,100 miles, getting us more than halfway to Washington, D.C. There was one very enthusiastic student, named Sam, who wanted to participate in the program, but because he was confined to a wheelchair, Sam could not track steps using the pedometer. A quick on-line search and a few phone calls later, a local bike shop volunteered to donate and install a bike odometer. Sam is now rolling around tracking miles and contributing to our “step counts.” During his first week, he logged over 8 miles. A caring business and a simple bike odometer enabled one more student to join in the community activity and build healthy habits.