from Active Living Across Minnesota with SHIP - Minnesota Departmet of Health
With more committed communities throughout the U.S. for walkable and bicycle friendly streets - that is what the cities of Fergus Falls and Frazee, in Minnesota, wanted to be when they adopted their “Complete Streets” policies. The Complete Streets program makes it easier for residents to add physical activity into their daily routines by promoting non-motorized transportation through safer and accessible biking and walking paths.
Teaming with Fergus Falls was the PartnerSHIP 4 Health (PS4H) Active Living Planner, which served on Fergus Falls’ Safe Routes to School Task Force. PS4H is a regional initiative that works to improve the health through supporting sustainable changes in schools, communities, workplaces and health care settings.
Hank Ludtke, Mayor of Frazee, has a passion for physical activity and its benefits. He states, “I rode bike 10 miles a day back and forth to the University while in college. I rode bikes all year round.” Now disabled, he continues to be physically active and in 2012, PS4H partnered with Ludtke in order to provide additional support and resources to promote active living opportunities in Frazee.
Joining in on making biking and walking more accessible was Battle Lake City who incorporated the Complete Streets language into their comprehensive clan and capital improvement plan. Now Battle Lake City has a safe path that can take residents and visitors from Highway 78 to downtown. “We are all working together to connect the neighborhoods, parks and school. We hope to keep our communities active and promote healthy living,” says Ludtke.