Jill Marx, Public Relations Coordinator
The City of Fort Collins, Poudre School District (PSD) and local K-12 students will celebrate International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
For 22 years, International Walk to School Day has served as a celebration of the health and community benefits of kids using “active transportation” to get to and from school. This year, children in more than 40 countries, including the United States and Canada, will participate in this fun and exciting event.
The City’s Safe Routes to School program, which helps promote the event, expects to see about 20 local schools participating, including Bauder, Beattie, Johnson, Kruse, Laurel, Linton, Lopez, McGraw, Mountain Sage, O’Dea and Werner elementary schools; Blevins, Kinard and Lesher middle schools; and Rocky Mountain High School.
Over the past several years, encouragement events such as International Walk to School Day have helped move the needle on active transportation at many local schools.
“Shepardson Elementary is an outstanding example of a school that has completely embraced biking and walking over the past few years, with fewer parents driving their kids to school,” said Nancy Nichols, Safe Routes to School coordinator for the City. “Survey data indicate three times as many Shepardson students bike and walk to school now compared to five years ago.,” she said.
“Shepardson is the first PSD school in Fort Collins to surpass our City goal of 50% of kids regularly biking and walking to school,” Nichols added.
Factors contributing to children’s safety when walking or bicycling include traveling with a group rather than alone and choosing a safe route that employs multi-use paths, sidewalks, designated crosswalks, crossing guards and streets with slower speeds and lower traffic volumes. Children’s safety also depends on motorists’ awareness of children along roadways and cautious driving anywhere children may be present, including neighborhood streets, school areas and parks.
“Walking to your neighborhood school is a choice that can add to the joys of education,” said Mayor Wade Troxell. “I remember walking to Dunn Elementary every day and literally and figuratively smelling the flowers along the way. Walking is a choice that can serve each of us well for a healthy lifestyle throughout a lifetime.”
To see whether your school is planning to celebrate International Walk to School Day, find your school on
the national website, walkbiketoschool.org, and call the school contact for details.
For more information on the City of Fort Collins’ Safe Routes to School program, visit fcgov.com/saferoutes.