What We Do
Norte is Northern Michigan’s youth-focused, active transportation-centered, neighborhood-based 501c3 advocacy organization.
Our mission is to help build stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart through our many projects, initiatives, and programs.
Empowering elementary and middle school students to be happy, healthy and ready-to-learn:
- Fantastic Fridays — A weekly celebration of students walking, biking and rolling to school.
- Grand Traverse Regional Kids’ Bike Library — Ensuring that awesome kids have awesome bikes to pedal to school no matter their family’s resources.
- Adventure Bike Club — An after-school, adventure-based bike safety program.
- The Great Northern Michigan Bike Train Experiment — A region-wide network of adult-led bike trains connecting neighborhoods to schools.
- Estrellas — A learn-to-ride program for preschoolers using balance bikes.
- Safe Routes To School Champions — Empowering passionate parents to advocate for active, happy, ready-to-learn kids at their school.
- 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”.
Supporting the programs, infrastructure, policies, systems and culture related to walking, biking and other forms of active transportation to help communities be their best – their healthiest:
- Pro Walk/Pro Bike Advocacy Group — Connecting awesome people passionate about best practice walk/bike infrastructure, forward-thinking policy and smart community design for a more walkable, bikeable, livable Northern Michigan.
- Grand Traverse Advocate Academy — Empowering ordinary people to be extraordinary walk/bike advocates.
- Northwest Michigan Strong Project — Providing the tools, resources, and knowledge to help local project teams bring Norte to their community.
- Summer Slow Rolls — Weekly community slow ride to promote an active lifestyle and create awareness for people on bikes.
- Bike Valet — provides professional bike parking services at the Sara Hardy Farmers Market, National Cherry Festival and other community events.
- El Barrio Bike Fix — Weekly summertime community bike fix event at the Clubhouse.
- Bike Month — May is for bikes in Northern Michigan.
- The Clubhouse — One of Norte’s houses at the Civic Center that also houses Traverse City’s community bike shop.
- The Wheelhouse — Norte’s other house at the Civic Center that hosts our many programs.
- Bike Life — A story series featuring ordinary people doing ordinary things on their bicycles that aims to create awareness for the growing presence of people on bicycles in Northern Michigan.
Building confidence and independence by way of adventures in our Northern Michigan forests:
- After School Mountain Bike Program — 5 week program for elementary, middle and high school students in the spring and fall.
- Sunday Trail Rides — Weekly family shred on the Vasa. Mother’s Day to Iceman. Sundays.
- More Girls on Bikes — A strong grrrrrls! empowerment program.
Happy, healthy, strong young people being awesome:
- Summer Bike Camps– An adventure-based summer camp building confidence, promoting independence and teaching bike safety program for upper elementary and middle school students.
- Amigos – Empowerment program for kids with special needs.
- El Liderato – A youth leadership council empowering young people to speak up, get involved and do good in their community.
- The Solution – A learn-to-wrench program for awesome kids.
Winter in northern Michigan is for embracing. Not complaining about 😉
- Winter Walk Wednesdays – A weekly celebration of people walking to work, school or just for fun during Northern Michigan’s coldest months.
- The Great Northern Michigan Shovel Experiment – Crowd-sourced project to keep our neighborhood curb cuts, pedestrian bridges and bus stops clear to keep Northern Michigan’s sidewalks walkable/rollable all winter.
- Northern Michigan Bike Plow – Bike-powered snow clearing initiative keeping neighborhood sidewalks and trails awesome.
- Winter Bike To Work + School Day – Riding your bike to work and school during the winter is a thing here in Northern Michigan.
- Christmas Tree by Bike – Bike-powered delivery of your Christmas tree to Traverse City’s recycling drop site at Hull Park.