Picture it: a beautiful, sunny day of riding in your community alongside public health practitioners, engineers, planners, school administrators, elected officials, community leaders, and local advocates, and Tim, BikeMN’s GreenCorps Member. Last week, Tim headed to Mahnomen and Willmar to conduct Bikeable Community Workshops (BCWs) in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Thanks to the AmeriCorps program run through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and funds for Tim’s service position, we can host hybrid workshops in communities all over Minnesota.
Since 2012, BikeMN has led 35 BCWs in cities across the state. These towns have gone on to write bike and pedestrian plans, apply to become official Bicycle Friendly Communities, and have worked to become better places to bike. At a typical workshop, BikeMN gets local stakeholders together for a day of discussion, a bike ride through the community to look at infrastructure, and action planning around creating a more bicycle-friendly community.
Bikeable Community Workshops contribute to BikeMN’s mission by engaging and educating folks on how to make their community more bicycle-friendly. This helps accomplish our vision of a Minnesota where everyone can easily walk, bike, and roll in their daily life. These events fall under category one of the strategic plan–community engagement, goal three-set, and evaluation of active living in communities.
Mahnomen and Willmar showed up for their communities, encouraging the right folks at the table to do the work in quantity and quality. At both Workshops, everyone worked through an Action Plan exercise to identify short and long-term action items that would help make their communities more bike-friendly.
At each workshop, we had many inspiring conversations with local advocates and community members working hard to make their communities more bikeable for everyone. We can’t wait to see what they will do next!
Stay tuned to learn what happens in June and July, as we continue our Bikeable Community Workshops in Park Rapids, Pine River, and Rochester.