More than 70 Minnesota schools and hundreds of students are expected to participate in Minnesota’s Winter Walk to School Day Wednesday, Feb. 5. The annual event sponsored by Minnesota Safe Routes to School encourages students and parents to increase their physical activity, reduce traffic congestion and practice pedestrian and bicycle safety.
“Walking and biking to school in the winter is another way to get outside, be active and connect with your community,” said Dave Cowan, SRTS coordinator. “We celebrate winter in Minnesota and walking to school is a great chance for kids to enjoy the season while spending quality time with a parent, friend or entire school.”
Motorists can help keep kids safe by stopping for people crossing at every corner, even those without marked crosswalks or stop lights. When driving through a school zone, slow down, scan the road for people walking and be alert for students.
“We want students to have a safe and comfortable winter walk to school, so remember to use caution on sidewalks covered with snow or ice, layer your clothing and wear a hat to keep your whole body warm,” said Cowan.
Schools are invited to submit stories and photos of their event to compete for the Golden Snow Boot Award. Submit your stories to the dave [dot] cowanstate [dot] mn [dot] us (SRTS office)
by Feb. 12.
Winter Walk to School Day also encourages parents and community members to begin thinking about the walkability and bikeability of their neighborhoods, because children walk to community destinations like playgrounds, libraries, parks and more during winter months. Keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice, especially at corners, helps make communities safer and more accessible.
Minnesota Safe Routes to School provides resources and grants to advance SRTS programs through planning, projects and support. The SRTS website also provides interested schools with more information about annual Walk to School days, including a toolkit to help them plan an event.