71 Idaho Schools registered to participate in Walk to School Day 2018.
This is a 82% INCREASE over 2017! Way to go Idaho!
Eastern Idaho led the pack with 26 total schools participating, including 20 schools in the city of Idaho Falls. The Safe Routes to School program in Idaho Falls is coordinated through the Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization which has taken the lead in planning for walking and biking in the region. They have a robust Walking School Bus program and use Walk to School Day to try and affect lasting change, encouraging more students to walk regularly.
In addition to urging more kids to join the Walking School Bus program, activities included; meeting at the park and walking together to school, free breakfast at school on Walk to School Day, walking at school if you arrive by bus and more. Activities were led by volunteers at each of the schools.
In Moscow 10 schools shared in the fun with 2 charter schools and a private school joining all seven of the district’s public schools. Many students and parents participated. Students could walk to any school from home or a designated location.
Walking groups with supervising adults, called a Walking School Bus, were organized at some locations. There were park and walk locations near each school for children who wanted to walk but live too far away.
The mayor facilitated a walk from downtown and University of Idaho students hosted Walk at School events, where students dropped off by car or bus can could join in by walking around the school grounds before class.
There was participation in Walk to School Day at every school in the district this year with nearly 1,000 students participating! From parents to community leaders, the day featured students walking to school with an emphasis on pedestrian safety, physical activity, and community connections.
Washington Elementary School had 191 students – their biggest group ever – along with Principal Hamer and community leaders Mayor Shelby Rognstad and Steve Lockwood who made an 8 block trek together. Principal Olson, city officials and police officers, teachers, and parent volunteers joined 100 students walking at Farmin-Stidwell Elementary.
Special bus stops allowed bus students in Kootenai to walk along with Principal Knowles and Idaho Representative Sage Dixon, and drew 75 students. Over 480 students were part of Walk at School events at the rural schools in the district.
Safe Routes to School encouraged those traveling by car to park a few blocks away and finish their journey on foot.
Idaho’s biggest program is housed in the Treasure Valley YMCA and serves multiple school districts and communities. There were individual events at schools across the valley run by local volunteers. These included Walk, Ride, and Roll events. Boise city council members Holli Woodings, Lisa Sanchez and Elaine Clegg participated at various locations, as did the police chief and many officers, the fire department and police dog Scout.
The Boise Police Department led a big group, including some city council members, from Winstead Park to Morley Nelson Elementary where they were greeted with snacks and activities. At Cynthia Mann Elementary there were greeters at the crosswalks and both pathway entrances to the school grounds.
The Safe Routes to School program also sponsored a Bike Rodeo at Galileo STEM Academy where ITD Transportation Alternatives Program Manager Ryan McDaniel helped. Check out the video they created!
In Meridian, Idaho Walk Bike Alliance and the American Heart Association joined in the fun at Hunter Elementary School to highlight the importance of good infrastructure.
Wood River Valley
Mountain Rides organizes a trail ride day in October and concentrates other events in the spring.
Mayor’s Walking Challenge
There is a natural partnership between Safe Routes to School and other walking events.
Many of the mayors in Idaho who participate in the Mayor’s Walking Challenge use Walk to School Day as part of the challenge, including Shawn Barigar in Twin Falls, Gordon Petrie in Emmett, Tammy DeWeerd in Meridian and Homedale’s Gheen Christofferson.
Pictured is Mayor Bill Lambert on Walk to School day in Moscow’s Friendship Square.