Melrose and Wakefield elementary and middle schools joined schools from around the world to celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.
Over 3000 Melrose and Wakefield elementary and middle school students walked and rolled to school last Wednesday along with parents, teachers and community leaders. Thank you to principals, PTO’s, school nurses and all others that helped make the day such a success!
Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment. The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community.
Walk to School Day is a collaboration between MA Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School program which is federally funded by the Federal Highway Division. The program is designed to create safer streets, promote physical activity, and build sustainable environments in over 170 communities throughout Massachusetts. Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield represents 2 of 52 communities across the Commonwealth grant funded to promote healthy eating and active living for youth and adults.
Understanding and evaluating trends of how students and families travel to and from school is a key component to building a successful Safe Routes to School Program. This fall, Melrose and Wakefield will be using MassDOT’s Safe Routes to School survey (www.masaferoutessurvey.com) to engage parents and help schools plan for more transportation choices.
For additional information, please visit these websites:
Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield www.MiMmelrosewakefield.com
Mass in Motion (statewide) www.mass.gov/massinmotion
Massachusetts Safe Routes to School www.mass.gov/massdot/saferoutes
Walk to School Day in the USA www.walkbiketoschool.org
National Center for Safe Routes to School www.saferoutesinfo.org
International Walk to School Day www.iwalktoschool.org
About Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield, a Program of the City of Melrose and Town of Wakefield Health Departments:
Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield works locally to increase opportunities for Melrose and Wakefield residents to eat better and move more in the places they live, learn, work, and play. Melrose and Wakefield are among 52 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth that are part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Program. Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield is working to support the implementation of Safe Routes to School, Healthy Market Program, Access to Farmers Markets, Healthy Dining Program, and improving school nutrition initiatives that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for residents.
About the City of Melroses’ Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee:
After twenty years, the City of Melrose recently re-established the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee. The Committee, with support from Mayor Dolan, will be working throughout Melrose to improve conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists in the City and promote walking and bicycling as a means of transportation.
The Committee has been charged with the following goals and activities:
- Enhance Melrose’s reputation as a prime commuter city;
- Establish Melrose as a Walk Friendly community;
- Organize and participate in public events such as bike rodeos;
- Support Safe Routes to School initiatives such as walk to school days;
- Search for pedestrian and bicycle grant opportunities;
- Provide City departments with walkability & bikeability tools and resources;
- Create materials to encourage walking and bicycling in the city
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee is made up of residents, City staff from the Health Department, the Planning and Community Development Office, the Police Department, and the Department of Public Works, and is in partnership with Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield and the Melrose Energy Commission.