As the weather warms up and the days get a little longer, kids look forward to being outside and getting some physical activity. Encourage students to try walking, biking, or rolling to or from school or after school activities. When students use active modes to get to and from school they are more likely to meet the daily recommendations of physical activity, they have more focus in the classroom, have lower stress, improved mood, and they are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors as teenagers and young adults. Last fall, Mesa County developed a mobile app that helps students, teachers, and parents to identify the safest, low impact routes around our community.
Visit the Mesa County Safe Routes website for a variety of safety tips and resources and download the mobile app to find the safest route to area schools. The mobile app helps users plan their route to school using starting and ending points of any local address and any District 51 school. App users can also start a trip and use turn by turn directions, or log trips and earn rewards. This app was designed with user safety in mind, Mesa County does not collect any personal data, the only information RTPO staff can see is the number of trips that are being logged by each school. Congrats to Rim Rock Elementary, they had 364 trips logged during the fall 2022 contest. Tope Elementary logged 117 trips, Scenic Elementary had 78 trips, and Chipeta Elementary with 63 Trips. Overall 26 schools had families download the app and log trips for students during the fall season.
District 51 elementary and middle school students are invited to participate in the Spring Walk & Roll Challenge from March 1-April 30. Students who walk, bike, or roll to school can earn prizes for logging active trips to and from school in the Mesa County Safe Routes mobile app, available on Google Play and the App Store. Download the mobile app and log trips to earn rewards, each time students hit the trip goals they will get a prize associated with each level; Level 1=6 Trips, Level 2 = 15 Trips, and Level 3 = 25 Trips. Students can claim prizes towards the end of the contest at various pop-up events held around the valley, these times and locations will be announced later in March. Parents can log trips for multiple kids in the same household by creating additional commuters within the app settings, one thing to keep in mind is that student trips can only accumulate on one device, meaning it is best for one parent to take charge of trip logging.
Spring Walk & Roll to School Day
Traditionally, May is National Bike to School Month, with the first Wednesday in May being the official Bike to School Day. Mesa County strives to be more inclusive, encouraging active modes traveling to school. Schools across the valley are encouraged to participate in the spring Walk & Roll to School Day on Wednesday, May 3 and recruit students to walk, bike, or roll to school. During this challenge, elementary and middle schools will compete against one another. The school with the most participation on May 3 will receive new recess equipment valued at $200.00.
Schools are encouraged to designate meet up spots for students to walk and roll together, forming a walking/biking school bus. Parents can walk and roll with their students and bring younger siblings along for some exercise. One suggestion is to create at least one meet-up location with parking so parents who live far can drive and allow their children to walk or roll a shorter distance to school. In previous years, some schools have coordinated with school buses to have kids dropped off at a nearby park, giving students the opportunity to walk to school with peers and teachers. This past October, Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary won the School vs School challenge with 240 youth participants. Mesa County Regional Transportation Planning Office staff hope to see more participation this spring!