On The Move to Safe Routes in East Bay

Now that the school year has started, we wanted to check-in and see how you’re rolling in East Bay. How goes it East Bay?

There are great things happening in East Bay.

EAST BAY UPDATES

  • 3-Mile Trail Extension – We’re still in the early days for this trail effort, but a path forward is in the works. The promising news is that the list of organizations supporting the effort is long and growing. We’re happy to be working with East Bay Township, TART Trails, the schools, County Road Commission, Grand Traverse Conservancy, Michigan Department of Transportation, Safe Routes to Schools, and you on connecting this route.
  • Safe Routes to School –A full infrastructure Safe Routes to School grant is a few years off, but next year we are applying for Safe Route Mini-grants in 2020. These grants assist schools and communities in non-infrastructure programming that gets kids moving. If you’re interested in seeing what types of programs might be included, please visit Safe Routes to School to learn about the possibilities.

You can help the cause today by filling out the annual Safe Routes to School Survey. It only takes 4-8 minutes.


EXTRA

  • Snow Clearing – Winter has arrived! It is an opportune time to give thanks to all the regional partners keeping our sidewalks and trails clear of snow and ice. In East Bay, the County, East Bay, Acme, and Garfield Townships, the City of TC, TART, and others have implemented a plan to clear the east-west multi-use trail all winter.

If you have a moment, send your gratitude to County Facilities Manager, Joe Berry at jberry@grandtraverse.org. You can also email Joe if you have any concerns or questions about the snow clearing program.

  • Hammond Road – The Grand Traverse Road Commission is in the preliminary stages of planning for construction along Hammond. They are considering roundabouts at 4-mile and possibly 3-Mile along the corridor. Modern, well-designed roundabouts could certainly help connect schools, businesses, and services safely and for all users.

If interested in being involved in this discussion, contact road commission manager, Brad Kluczynski at bkluczynski@gtcrc.org

  • Munson Avenue – Now I’m really dreaming! But bold dreams are how the seemingly impossible is achieved.  Wouldn’t it be nice to safely access both sides of Munson Ave. on foot and bike? Wouldn’t it be nice to drive Munson Ave. and not be white-knuckling it for fear of someone simply trying to cross the stroad? There’s nothing to report in this regard other than to ask, who wants to help?

Like you, we’re dreaming big for East Bay and to get there this coalition needs to persist, grow, and celebrate along the way. If you can recruit one neighbor or co-worker to join, we’d all appreciate it.

Send recruits to East Bay Strong!

Or, if your already here and want to be kept up to speed on great things East Bay, sign up here:

Have 3 Minutes for More Happy, Healthy, Ready to Learn Kids in Northern Michigan?

Kids learning to move, and moving to learn is our goal.  And including physically activity as part of ordinary life – like going to school! – and inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors, community to do the same is, in our opinion, a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness. Norte administers Safe Routes To School programs across the region in order to keep more kids moving.

As part of that program, we administer the following survey once a year during November. Your participation means the world to us because it helps us bring resources to our community to create and promote Safe Routes To School. Your input also informs decision-makers when they are considering new infrastructure investments, design, and related policies.

If you have children at multiple schools, we would appreciate it if you could complete a survey for each school.  If you have children that attend the same school and travel to and from school similarly, one survey is fine.

Remember –Even if you drive to school every day, your input is needed and important. Also, walking or biking at least 10 minutes to your bus stop counts; so does driving, parking and then walking or biking the last 10 minutes to school from park & stroll locations.

Thank you for your support and continued participation. The survey will only take a few a minutes.

 


Norte Safe Routes to School programs can be found in schools in Traverse City, Northport, Elk Rapids, Kalkaska, and Suttons Bay. Our programs, projects, and events are dedicated to empowering students of all ages to be active for life. Email us with any questions  hello@elgruponorte.org

 

 

Grand Traverse Region Safe Routes To School: A Winter Update

Kids learning to move and be physically active as part of ordinary life – like going to school! – and then inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors, community to do the same is, in our opinion, a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness.

Independent, happy, confident, ready to learn youth are empowered to be guardians of their health, develop lifelong habits to move more and sit less and be leaders in their community.

Norte administers Safe Routes To School programs across the Traverse City area as well as in Northport and Elk Rapids. Our programs, projects, and events are dedicated to empowering students of all ages to be active for life.

Here’s a quick winter Safe Routes To School update:
  • Traverse City’s $2M in town school infrastructure grant has been conditionally approved. Hopefully finalized soon. 
  • Thanks to a Rotary Charities grant, we’re convening a systems planning process with the partners who were involved with this grant to investigate the big picture effect of policy on active transportation, physical activity, health, and safety. Stay tuned for information on a public presentation in April.
  • Winter Walk Wednesdays start January 9th! Be about it.
  • Long Lake township is on track for a June infrastructure grant application for Long Lake and Westwoods.
  • East Bay township is waiting on the Road Commission’s East-West Mobility study to figure out what’s next for 3 Mile/improvements around East Middle and Cherry Knoll, GTA and SEAS.
  • We also just received a state-wide award for safety from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission. Very exciting! This is for all of our partners, parents, and volunteers who support the infrastructure, programs, policy, culture, and systems that allow kids to be active as part of ordinary life – like walking/biking to school.
  • Estrellas, our learn to ride program for preschoolers using balance bikes, is HOT! We’ll be at Long Lake, Silver Lake, Mill Creek, and Willow Hill in January with many more schools planned throughout the winter and spring.
  • Registration for The Bike Mas Project, our after-school, adventure-based bike safety program, opens January 7th. More info HERE.
Learn more about our comprehensive Safe Routes To School initiative HERE.
Get involved with walk/bike efforts at your school HERE.

Have 3 Minutes for More Happy, Healthy, Ready to Learn Kids in Northern Michigan?

We believe that kids learning to move and be physically active as part of ordinary life – like going to school! – and then inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors, community to do the same is, in our opinion, a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness.

Independent, happy, confident, ready to learn youth are empowered to be guardians of their health, develop lifelong habits to move more and sit less and be leaders in their community.

Norte administers Safe Routes To School programs across the Traverse City area as well as in Northport and Elk Rapids. Our programs, projects, and events are dedicated to empowering students of all ages to be active for life.

Thank you for taking a few a minutes to report how your Pre-K to 8th-grade student gets to school.

This data will also help inform decision makers when considering new infrastructure design and improved policies. Gracias.

Even if you drive to school every day, we NEED to hear from you!

If you have children at multiple schools, we would appreciate it if you could complete a survey for each school.

If you have children that attend the same school and get to school similarly, one survey is fine.

Remember! Walking/biking at least 10 minutes to your bus stop counts; so does driving, parking and walking/biking the last 10 minutes to school from Park & Stroll locations.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

 

 

Have 15 minutes? Help improve walk/bike infrastructure around your Northern Michigan school

Norte administers the Safe Routes To School initiative across the Traverse City-area as well as in Elk Rapids and Northport and we’re aiming to improve our data collection in support of more – lots more! – happy, healthy, ready to learn kids in Northern Michigan.

Sometime in the next 2 weeks – before winter comes!, we need your help counting how kids get to your school.

Why?

1. Because young people count

  • Counting traffic is a normal part of planning transportation, but right now, not everyone gets counted. We are changing that. If you want sidewalks, safer intersections or protected bike lanes on your street, for example, counting traffic is one of the best ways to get started.

2. Better Data = Better Solutions

  • Who is using our roads and how? We need to understand the problem to create solutions. Counting traffic – even once – sets a baseline. That baseline can be analyzed, tested and compared. Counting again later lets us test traffic solutions and prove whether they are working.

3. Because we can all help

  • Planners, road engineers, doctors, and politicians – we all need information to make good decisions. So do you. Counterpoint for everyone. Whether you’re a mom, grandpa, teacher, neighbor or anything in between, counting traffic helps and it will only make things better.

We’re going to use an app called CounterPoint to do our counts. It’s a transportation planning and measurement tool designed in 2013, to make traffic counting global, fun, easy and inclusive for all ages and disciplines.

CounterPoint runs on crowdsourcing and citizen science. Data validity is transparent, simple and comparable with automatic counters that starts (and often ends) conversations about how our transportation systems are (and should be) working.

Importantly, CounterPoint’s definition of “traffic” includes everyone. The app’s simple User Interface comes with intuitive buttons for strollers, children’s bikes, cargo bikes, wheelchairs, cars, and transit.

How it works at Northern Michigan schools:

1. Download the Counterpoint app
2. Create an account
3. Search for nearby count locations already created. If your school doesn’t exist, create a “counterpoint” at the location. It’s easy: go to the location you think would be best to count, click the “+” sign in the app, name the counterpoint (add the intersection or description to the title as schools can have multiple points), take a photo and save.
4. Arrive at your location at least 20 minutes before the bell rings in the morning or when the bell rings in the afternoon to do your count.
5. Start a 15 minute “regular” count.
6. Please make sure to count all adults and children walking, biking and rolling. Counting cars/trucks/buses etc. isn’t required but you’re welcome to if you want.
7. Submit your count.

Norte will download these counts on a monthly basis. Again, this is important data that will be used to improve walk/bike infrastructure, design, and policies around schools in Northern Michigan.

Want to stay up to up to date on walk/bike efforts at your school. Sign up here.

Thank you!

Questions? Get at us at hello@elgruponorte.org

Podcast: This Clubhouse Life – The Official Podcast of Norte

Awesome news! We have a podcast.

This Clubhouse Life is the official podcast of Norte and our first episode features The Bike Mas Project, our adventure-based bike safety program.

Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

Traverse Heights Elementary: Northern Michigan’s 2018 Most Walk-tastic School

Led by their amazing principal, Mr. Schrock, and many, many dedicated teachers, Traverse Heights Elementary rocked Northern Michigan Walks To School Day.

With a strategy combining kids walking from home, parents driving to then walk with their child and school buses dropping off students several blocks away from school, nearly the entire Traverse Heights population took the awesome way to class on a beautiful Northern Michigan morning.

Incredible.

Congratulations, Traverse Heights, on being the 2018 Most Walk-tastic School in Northern Michigan!

Honorable mentions to:
  • 301 Elks from Cherryland Middle School in Elk Rapids who walked the track before class
  • Old Mission Peninsula School with 127 walking from Island View Road
  • Courtade Elementary with 208 students and teachers walking the track
  • Eastern Elementary with 171
  • Central Grade with 53
  • TCAPS Montessori with 47
  • Westwoods with 42
  • Willow Hill with 40
  • Silver Lake Elementary with 35
  • Holy Angels with 33
  • Lakeland Elementary with 31
  • Woodland School with 26
  • Long Lake Elementary with 17
  • Northport Public School with 16
  • Trinity Lutheran with 11
  • West Middle with 7
  • Immaculate Conception with 2
  • East Middle with 1
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton with 1
  • Teddy Bear Preschool with 1
  • Munson Medical Center Preschool with 1
  • Oak Park Preschool with 1

Special thank yous to our Walk Day sponsors:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • TBA Credit Union
  • Oryana
  • Traverse City Track Club
  • Safe Routes To School Michigan

And our community partners:

  • Traverse City Police Department
  • Elk Rapids Police Department
  • Grand Traverse Sherrif Office
  • Michigan State Police

Thanks to 7&4’s Savannah Fish for getting up early, as well.

Lots of walk to school day photos HERE.

Very amateur live video from Oryana’s bus stop HERE.

Have more photos or videos? Please share!

Learn more and get involved with our area-wide Safe Routes To School initiative HERE.

And stay up to date on all things orange by subscribing to El Periodico, our once in awhile and very orange newsletter.

Northern Michigan Walks To School Day Nears

With generous support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, TBA Credit UnionTraverse City Track Club, Oryana Community Co-op, Norte is excited to once again host Northern Michigan Walks To School Day, a community-wide, multi-school celebration of National Walk To School Day next Wednesday, October 10th.

700+ students from across Northern Michigan walked to school last year. Can we do better than that in 2018?

We will also be crowning The Most Walk-tastic Northern Michigan School! That’s a big, big deal. Glenn Loomis in Traverse City “won” last year. Help your school that the 2018 title by committing here:

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Everyone is welcome – Pre K to 8th grade as well as teachers, staff, and principals too.

If you live too far from home, drive to one of our “Park & Stroll” locations.

A 5-10 minute walk to your bus stop totally counts too.

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE bikes but sometimes we enjoy a nice walk to school too:

  • Walking to school is known to improve academic performance
  • Walking to school gives children good life experience
  • Walking to school gets children outdoors
  • Walking to school provides daily exercise for children

So set those alarms a little earlier on October 10th, eat a solid breakfast, invite a friend or 6, strap your backpack on and join us.

Participating Schools:

Don’t see your school? Sign it up HERE.

Live too far from school to walk or maybe your school isn’t yet safe to walk to? No worries. You can still play. Our Park & Stroll locations offer designated places to park and then walk 5-10 minutes to school with your child. Email us at hello@elgruponorte.org for more info.

For those kids too young to walk on their own, Norte will be transforming our community-wide network of bike trains into “walking school buses” for the day to connect our neighborhoods to our neighborhood elementary schools:

2018 Walking School Bus Schedule!

Central Grade‘s “buses”:
  • Thirlby Stadium: 13th and Pine: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – TBD
  •  Oryana: 10th/Lake: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Laura Otwell
  • Open Space: Parkway and Union: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Carrie Smith

Cherryland Middle School:

  • Walk the track at school: 7:30-7:48. Bus driver – Ann DeVogel

Eastern Elementary:

  • Norte Wheelhouse: Meet at 8:25, walk at 8:30. Bus driver – Emily Buchholz
  • Clancy Park: Meet at 8:30. Walking at 8:35. Bus driver – Rebecca Sketch
Glenn Loomis’ “buses”:
  • 10th/Lake: Oryana: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:4o. Bus driver – Kaitlyn Burns
  • Division/14th: Tom’s: Meet at 7:40, walking at 7:55. Bus driver – Sarah Bourquin
Holy Angels “bus”:
  • 10th/Lake: Oryana: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Christi Nowak
Northport Public School “bus”:
  • Marina: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Corrine Wetherbee

Lakeland Elementary:

  • River Walk Grill: Meet at 8:20, walking at 8:25. Bus driver – Becky Travis
  • Elk Rapids Apartments: Meet at 7:50, walking at 7:55. Bus driver – Stephen McDdonald.
  • Corner of 2nd and Pine: Meet at 8:00, walking at 8:05. Bus driver – David West
  • Village Market Back Parking Lot: Meet at 8:30, walking at 8:35. Bus driver – Becky Travis
Traverse Heights’ “bus”:
  • Jupiter Park: Boyd at Rose Street: Meet at 8:05, walking at 8:10. Bus driver –  Stephanie and Josh Wilson.
Trinity Lutheran “bus”:
  • 10th/Lake: Oryana: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:4o. Bus driver – TBD
West Middle School:
  • Grand Traverse Commons barns: TBD
  • Meijer: TBD
  • YMCA: TBD

Westwoods “bus”:

  • 1122 Fisher Road. Meet at 8:15, walking at 8:20. Bus driver – Juli Tiesworth
Willow Hill’s “bus”:
  •  Darrow Park: Meet at 8:15, walking at 8:20. Bus Driver – Principal Sides-Mackay

Don’t forget to commit!

 

 

 

Our friends at Oryana will be generously providing healthy snacks at their “bus stop” for TCAPS Montessori, Holy Angels, Trinity Lutheran and Central Grade students.

The Traverse City Police Department will also be walking to school with us. How awesome is that?

We are looking for extra volunteers to help keep the kids safe, count walkers at school and hand out highfives. Please sign up HERE.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

 

Thank you, Sponsors!

Thank you, Community Partners!

 

Why Safe Routes to Schools Matter in Northern Michigan

Kids learning to move and being physically active as part of ordinary life — like walking or biking to school — and then inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors to do the same is a powerful means to achieve sustainable community health.

Independent, happy, confident, ready to learn young people are empowered to be guardians of their health, develop lifelong habits to move more, sit less and be leaders in their neighborhood.
What steps can we take to get kids off the couch, off their screen and outside? How can we reduce chronic disease, childhood obesity, insane car lines at schools, traffic congestion, air pollution, depression, and social isolation? Exercise, organized sports and recreation are great but I believe that embedding walking and biking into our daily routine is a significant part of the answer.

Where are the kids? The kids are at school. Let’s start there.

Let’s make it a priority to value kids actively getting themselves to school and provide them with safe routes so they can arrive to school and back home safely. Let’s encourage school policies and programs that support active transportation to school.

Let’s be that region where happy, healthy, ready-to-learn kids of all abilities can safely walk and bike to school.

Why? Because the benefits of walking and biking to school are many and go beyond just exercise: better concentration in class, improved cognitive abilities, stronger sense of community, less traffic congestion, safer streets (communities with the higher walk/bike rates have lower crash rates for all travel modes), decreased incidence of childhood obesity, screen-free time to connect with families and classmates; and finally, less air pollution from cars.

When kids are empowered to walk and bike to school, we all win.

We know that walkable/bikeable towns designed around people and place increase physical activity for people of all ages and abilities.

We know that kids who learn to move young (real young!) — like in preschool — are more likely to move as adults.

We also know that adults who move more are healthier, happier, and better connected with their community.

After 4 years of administering Traverse City’s Safe Routes To School initiative with Norte, the data indicates that we’re improving but the walk/bike participation rate within the City is still less than 10%. We can do better. Much better.

With the start of another school, I encourage everyone to get involved at their neighborhood school or at their neighborhood association and take action to support happier, healthier, more ready to learn students across Northern Michigan. It matters.

These small neighborhood-level actions – think skipping the carline once in a while to walk with your child or leading a bike train or speaking up at meetings for more sidewalks – will lead to big, society-level changes that can transform the culture of health not just for our kids but for all of us.

 

 

Adventurama: The Very Official 2018 Results

Incredible turnout on a beautiful afternoon for the 3rd annual Adventurama. Thank you to the 35 squads for playing and supporting Norte’s Traverse City area-wide Safe Routes To School project.

Together, $2,500+ was raised for our education and encouragement programs dedicated to empowering students to be happy, healthy and ready to learn

Congrats to “Paint The Town Orange” on their overall win. Their 613 points were very, very impressive.

Big propers to “This is How We Roll” for best squad theme executive and to 4-year-old Neve for her Best Individual Costume – the cutest pedaling honeybee ever!

The Very Official 2018 Adventurama Results

1. Paint the town Orange!: 613 points
2. Homeschool Dropouts: 567 points
3. Pedal to the medal: 540 points
4. Born To Ride: 520 points
5. The Persisters: 510 points
5. This Is How WE Roll: 510 points
6. Tursmaniacs: 480 points
7. Secret Stasher Dashers: 478 points
8. Los Chupacabras: 467 points
9. Professional Pilots: 464 points
10. Team Yonts: 450 points
11. The Chobani Boiyz: 440 points
12. Jackalopes: 435 points
14. TC Cycling Ninjas: 433 points
15. Hyper Stripe Squad: 422 points
16. Rainbow Riders: 398 points
17. The Pedaling Primos: 397 points
18. Helix: 395 points
19. Fortnite Fighters: 370 points
20. The Wheelie Witches: 360 points
21. Mighty Metivas: 355 points
22. Powerful Pollinators: 326 points
23. Old People On Bikes: 325 points
24. Handlebar Houdeks: 323
25. Bling: 305 points
26.The Good, The Bad, & The Uncle: 302 points
27. TC Vixens: 293
28. Where is Waldo?: 286 points
29. Weirdo’s: 263 points
30. Team WAGE: 254 points
31. All-Stars: 130 points
32. Team Star: 88 points
33. Cuckadees: 15 points

 

 

Happy, Healthy, Ready to Learn: Priority Health to Help the Estrellas Shine

Norte is for happy, healthy, ready to learn kids in northern Michigan no matter their age. We are also huge fans of balance bikes and believe that there is no better way to teach children how to ride.

Estrellas, our learn-to-ride program for preschoolers using balance bikes, started in 2016 and thanks to a Priority Health partnership, will be shining brightly in 2018-19.

The Estrellas is both an in-school 4-week program for preschoolers at 18 area schools and a twice-weekly summertime meet-up community event at the Clubhouse.

Learn To Ride in School

In addition to our other Safe Routes To School programs, The Great Northern Michigan Bike Train ExperimentThe Bike Mas Project and Fridays Fantastico, the 4 week Estrellas’ Learn To Ride program is another wonderful opportunity to build a healthy, move more culture at school and encourage students to be active, happy, and ready-to-learn.

Summer Meet-ups

After a full summer of twice-weekly meet-ups, our shreds at the Clubhouse are wrapping up.

We’ll have two more on Monday nights (August 20th and 27th) from 6-7 pm. The 27th will be our summertime grand finale and Priority Health is bringing ice cream so don’t miss that one!

Priority Health will also help us bring our balance bike course to Friday Night Live on August 24th from 5:30 – 9pm. It’s going to be so rad to rip bikes on Front Street!

 

 

Walk/Bike-tastic Moms and Dads in Northern Michigan Needed

Norte believes that kids learning to move and be physically active as part of ordinary life – like going to school! – and then inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors, community to do the same is, in our opinion, a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness.

While we are committed to empowering and encouraging kids to actively get themselves to school full time, we still need your voice. We are only one piece of the puzzle. It is critical for like-minded parents to advocate for active, happy, ready-to-learn kids at their school. Our message is amplified when awesome moms and dads take ownership of their school’s active transportation plan and get involved.

Our SRTS Team is a grassroots initiative dedicated to empowering parents to get involved at their school and in their neighborhood to support independent, happy, confident, ready to learn youth are empowered to be guardians of their health, develop lifelong habits to move more and sit less and be leaders in their community.

Norte administers Safe Routes To School programs across the Traverse City area as well as in Northport and Elk Rapids.

Our programs, projects, and events are dedicated to empowering students of all ages to be active for life.

Programs:

  • Fridays Fantástico: A weekly celebration of students walking, biking and rolling to school.
  • The Great Northern Michigan Bike Train Experiment: A community-wide network of adult-led bike train connecting schools in northern Michigan.
  • Winter Walk Wednesdays: A #StepItUp inspired celebration of people – big or small – walking to work, school or just for FUN! in Traverse City.
  • Park & Stroll: For those students who attend a school of choice or live too far away from their home school. Drive. Park. Walk 5 minutes to school. Easy.
  • Bike2Bus: Portable bike racks at neighborhood bus stops and mapping of safe routes to these racks to encourage “biking to bus”.
  • The Bike Mas Project: An adventure-based after-school empowerment program for upper elementary students.
  • El Barrio Bike Fix: A pop-up bike fix and learn-to-wrench program.
  • Estrellas: A learn-to-ride program for preschoolers using balance bikes.
  • Norte Bike Library: Ensuring that awesome kids have awesome bikes to pedal to school no matter their family’s resources.

Events:

 The benefits of walking and biking to school are many, of course:

  • better concentration in class
  • less traffic congestion near schools
  • improved cognitive abilities
  • stronger sense of community
  • more exercise
  • safer streets: communities with the higher walk/bike rates have lower crash rates for all travel modes
  • a distraction-free time to connect with families and classmates
  • less air pollutants from automobiles

Partner schools:

STRS infrastructure projects in progress:

Get involved!

  • Advocate for happy, healthy, ready-to-learn kids at their school
  • Support stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities
  • Act as a liaison at their school and in their neighborhood
  • Champion walk/bike to school events and programs
  • Recruit future work team members
  • Ideas on what should be done to make your school more walkable/bikeable? Spots for Park & Stroll locations? Routes for bike trains or walking buses? What safety concerns do you see around your school? How can we better encourage and empower more kids to actively get themselves to your school?

 

 

Healthy. Independent. Confident: The Bike Más Project to Expand to 22 Schools

The Bike Más Project, which started in 2014 at one school, Traverse Heights Elementary, is about to have a big, big year thanks to a Safe Routes To School grant and many generous sponsors.

The Bike Más Project will be expanding to 22 schools in the Grand Traverse area to teach confidence, independence, and bike safety skills to 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th graders through empowerment, education, and adventure. Mucho adventure!

The Bike Más Project kids will:

  • Learn how to bike safe and bike smart
  • Develop bike repair and maintenance skills
  • Become a bike handling ninja.
  • Build confidence. Get fit. And have FUN!

Fall 2018 schedule:

Each session meets immediately after school and is 90 minutes long. The program begins/ends at school (there are a few exceptions when we will meet at the Clubhouse).

We meet once a week for 4 weeks and sessions start the week of September 17.

Mondays:

  • Woodland
  • Old Mission Penisula
  • East Middle (meets at the Clubhouse at 4pm but no transportation provided from EMS)
  • Elk Rapids-Cherryland
  • Elk Rapids – Lakeland
  • Westwoods
  • Northport – 4th/5th graders

Tuesdays:

  • Central Grade
  • Long Lake
  • West Middle

Wednesdays:

  • Willow Hill
  • Traverse Heights
  • Glenn Loomis
  • Courtade
  • Northport – 6th/7th graders
  • Grand Traverse Academy (meets at the Clubhouse at 4:30pm but no transportation provided from GTA)

Thursdays:

  • Pathfinder
  • Silver Lake
  • Eastern

Fridays:

  • Blair
  • Cherry Knoll
  • Trinity Lutheran

Helpful Information:

  • Bring a water bottle, helmet, bike and snack to all sessions.
  • 5 participant minimum and maximum per school.
  • Participants will meet the instructor in the school library no more than 10 minutes after dismissal.
  • In the event school is closed, no LEAP activities will be held per TCAPS policy. There is no guarantee of a make-up date in the case of inclement weather. Missed sessions will only be made up if schedules allow.
  • Bikes are available for participants to borrow from Norte’s Bike Library if needed.

Every Bike Mas Project participant will also receive:

  • a sweet Norte shirt
  • a free family membership to our Clubhouse

Cost:

Registration:

Sessions are limited to five (5) participants. If 5 participants do not register, the session will be canceled and a refund provided.

Huge thanks to our sponsors for supporting happy, healthy, strong kids and making The Bike Mas Project very affordable:

Higher Grounds’ Coast coffee to benefit The Bike Más Project

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We are thrilled that our friends at Higher Grounds have brought back their delicious summer blend, Coast, to once again benefit our adventure-based empowerment program, The Bike Más Project. A smooth medium roast with a milk chocolate, brown sugar, and white peach profile, Coast is going to be your new fave coffee. Promise.

The Bike Más Project is all about teaching upper elementary students “bike smarts”, confidence and independence through pedal powered adventures. What started in 2014 at Traverse Heights Elementary as a Safe Routes To School funded program, The Bike Más Project will be expanding to 18 area schools this fall.

The Bike Más Project aims to empower more – lots more! – young people to healthy, happy, and active for life through bike safety, education, and adventure. Funds generated by Coast sales will help this dream happen.

Coast can be purchased online HERE.

Or at local Traverse City businesses including Oryana, Tom’s and Olesons.

Read more about The Bike Más Project and why it’s awesome HERE.

Learn more about our comprehensive Safe Routes To School initiative HERE.

 

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Know an Awesome Kid? Nominations Now Open for Northern Michigan’s Walk/Bike to School Hero Awards

Over the past year, kids across northern Michigan have been walking and biking to school in a big, big way.

It’s time we acknowledge and celebrate that!

Help us fill our third annual region-wide Safe Routes To School Heroes Awards with kids leading the active transportation way at their school.

Awards are open to all elementary and middle schools students in northern Michigan.

Super awesome prizes up for grabs including free bikes, very orange swag, summer bike camp entries, Norte Dineros, and Clubhouse memberships.

Deadline for nominations is June 12th.

Email us with questions at hello@elgruponorte.org

 

 

Thank you to our Safe Routes To School partners for supporting happy, healthy, ready to learn kids across Traverse City!

 

National Bike To Work Day is tomorrow and the kids are taking over

As part of Traverse City Bike Month, we’re again organizing a very friendly Kids vs Adults competition – a smackdown if you will – for tomorrow’s National Bike To Work Day.

In case you haven’t noticed, kids in northwest Michigan have been pedaling to school in a big way recently and we want to keep the momentum going. Because what’s better than beating adults?!

We’re looking for a bunch of bike-tastic big people from various workplaces across the area to team up and take on the kids at several neighborhood elementary schools in the region including: Eastern, Northport, Traverse Heights, Central Grade, Elk Rapids Lakeland, Willow Hill, Holy Angels, Immaculate Conception, Trinity Lutheran and Glenn Loomis.

The schools are in. All we need is some big people to participate.

Here’s How It Works:

1. Complete this form and commit to ride tomorrow.

  • Don't see your workplace? Add it below and we'll get it on the list. Retired peeps and those who work from home can totally play too!

 

 

2. Encourage your co-workers to commit too. The past two years, the kids have won. You’re gonna need all the help you can get.

3. Tomorrow we will add up all the kids’ bikes in the racks at the area schools for Fridays Fantasticos as well as all of the adults who committed online for National Bike To Work Day. Biggest number wins bragging rights for the year.

Will the kids dominate yet again? Let’s give them some competition, adults!

Learn more about Traverse City Bike Month and our Safe Routes To School initiative.

 

 

Northern Michigan’s Most Bike-tastic School is …

A big, big day for happy, healthy, ready to learn kids this past Wednesday. So great! Nearly 800 kids at 22 area school participated. Our biggest Northern Michigan Bikes To Day yet. Amazing.

Soaring highest were the Falcons of Willow Hill Elementary in Traverse City. 232 students pedaled themselves to class which is good enough to “win” the 2018 Most Bike-tastic School Award.

Congrats, Willow Hill!

Honorable mentions to:

  • Northport Public School
  • TCAPS Montessori
  • Central Grade
  • Lakeland Elementary in Elk Rapids
  • Traverse Heights
  • Woodland
  • The bike to bus  to Bertha Vos kids from Eastern

Special high fives to:

  • Our 16 bike train conductors
  • The many principals who came out <— riding to school with your principal is a BIG deal
  • Our sponsors: Michigan Fitness Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield and TBA Credit Union
  • Oryana Co-op for hosted a bike train station and providing yummy breakfast
  • The Traverse City and Elk Rapids Police Departments for keeping the kids safe

Let’s keep the momentum going. Because it’s more than just one day, of course.

If you want to help get more kids biking (and walking!) to YOUR school, please join our grassroots Safe Routes To School team.

Safe Routes To School Goes to Long Lake Township

 

After a fantastic Walk To School Day this October at Westwoods elementary and successful Estrellas, our learn to ride program for preschoolers using balance bikes, sessions at both Westwoods and Long Lake elementary this past year, we’re excited to take the first few steps towards applying for a Safe Routes To School infrastructure grant that would address traffic congestion and walk/bike barriers in and around both of these schools.

We believe outcomes of this grant will result in a better place not only for Long Lake children but all township residents. A township that is healthier, happier and better connected.

The systematic Safe Routes To School approach starts with conducting walking and biking audits, evaluating needs, surveying parents, school staff and students, and developing an action plan. Funds are made available to improve and build bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, trails, lighting etc., as well as funding for important education and encouragement programs to ensure that this new infrastructure is well used.

We believe the following are some of the positive outcomes and reasons for supporting this grant:

  1. Creating a walking and bicycling culture sets habits for an active, healthy lifestyle beginning at an early age.
  2. The planning, development, and implementation of projects will reduce traffic congestion and fuel consumption, reduce air pollution in the vicinity of schools, and create safer streets as bike/walk rates increase.
  3. All of the many positive benefits that come from actively transporting yourself to school such as:
  • better concentration in class
  • improved cognitive abilities
  • stronger sense of community and understanding of the built environment
  • learning to safely navigate around our community
  • more exercise
  • sense of empowerment and independence
  1. We believe it is the right of all children to be able to walk and bike to school safely.
  2. A lack of physical activity plays a leading role in rising rates of obesity, diabetes and other health problems among children. Engaging in active transportation to and from school builds activity into daily routines.

Learn more about the Safe Routes To School grant process HERE.

We encourage Long Lake residents, business owners , and especially families with children who attend Westwoods and Long Lake schools, to make your voice heard.

Get involved and stay up to date by joining our Long Lake team:

 

 

And then write a letter of support addressed to the Long Lake Board of Trustees.

Sample letter HERE.

Westwoods parents/staff should email their letter to Nicola Philpott HERE.

Long Lake parents/staff should email theirs to Ben Boyce HERE.

Or better yet, attend the Long Lake Board of Trustees meeting at the township hall at 6 PM Tuesday, December 12th.

 

Traverse City Track Club To Support Safe Routes To School

 

The Traverse City Track Club (TCTC) is a local gem. Committed to helping make Traverse City a world class place to live, work and raise a family, the TCTC has and continues to significantly invest in this amazing place we call home.

Case in point: since 2007 the TCTC has donated, coordinated through the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, more than $1.5 million to local organizations! And this fall, the TCTC awarded $44,173 to seven nonprofits including $6,000 to Norte’s Traverse City-wide Safe Routes To School initiative.

“The TCTC is proud and grateful to be able to support programs like Norte, whose focus on family recreation through health and fitness programming aligns with our mission as an organization. Since our Bayshore Event became so financially stable starting in 2006, the TCTC charitable gifts committee has been able to embrace programs that get people of all ages out and more active through walking and running. Norte’s Safe Routes to School, Winter Walk Wednesdays and now Run Sábados are exciting programs we are glad to support,” says Lisa Taylor, TCTC Executive Director.

With TCTC’s generous support, Norte aims to empower more Traverse City elementary and middle school students to actively get themselves to school. Our educational programs are dedicated to developing the next generation of happy, healthy, ready to learn and active for life leaders.

Learn more about the Traverse City Track Club’s awesomeness HERE.


Are you an awesome mom or dad? Get involved with our Safe Routes To School initiative HERE.

  • Ideas on what should be done to make your school more walkable/bikeable? Spots for Park & Stroll locations? Routes for bike trains or walking buses? What safety concerns do you see around your school? How can we better encourage and empower more kids to actively get themselves to your school?

 

 

Extend the 3 Mile Trail: Charging Ahead

 

After four successful Safe Routes to School walking audits at East Middle SchoolCherry Knoll Elementary SchoolGrand Traverse Area Catholic Schools‘ SEAS and Grand Traverse Academy, it’s time to put those findings into action.

Parents and students from all four schools as well as East Bay residents and business owners are encouraged to participate in a community-wide, multi-school  Action Planning meeting. This meeting is a crucial part of a Safe Routes To School grant to extend the 3 Mile trail.

When: Tomorrow! Tuesday, November 14th at 6:30P

Where: Grand Traverse Academy gymnasium

What: Review audit observations, maps and identify possible improvements that will make it safer for students to get themselves to school. Think a separated trail, better traffic calming, crosswalks, bike lanes, sidewalks, lighting. Training will be provided by the SRTS team. Snacks provided!

Why: With four schools, a library, a BATA bus stop, a grocery store, and many other businesses, the 3 mile/Hammond intersection deserves better. Much better.

Bad news: 11 years later and the 3 Mile trail still goes nowhere.

Good news: we’re working on it.

How: After many, many meetings and a successful awareness campaign this spring powered by our youth leadership council, we’re excited to partner with Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS), Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools (GTACS) and Grand Traverse Academy (GTA) on a $800,000 – $200,000 is available per school – Safe Routes To School (SRTS) infrastructure grant to help extend the 3 Mile trail to Hammond.

This SRTS grant will improve safety at the four schools near the 3 Mile/Hammond intersection:

  • East Middle
  • Cherry Knoll
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • Grand Traverse Academy

We believe outcomes of this SRTS grant will result in a safer, healthier, happier and better connected East Bay that will benefit these students but all township residents, business owners and visitors.

We’ve secured letters of support from:

  • All four schools
  • Traverse Area District Library
  • Oleson’s
  • TART Trails
  • BATA

Earlier this summer the East Bay Parks, Planning Commission and Board of Trustees each passed a resolution of support to move ahead with the grant application.


If you can’t attend tomorrow’s meeting please make your voice heard by joining our 3 Mile Team: