The 27th annual National Walk, Bike & Roll to School Day is coming and Northland students are encouraged to register now and participate.

According to Safe Routes, active trips to school enable children to incorporate the regular physical activity they need each day while also forming healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

Studies have shown that regular physical activity helps children build strong bones, muscles, and joints, and it decreases the risk of obesity, whereas insufficient physical activity can contribute to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and stroke.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation expects more than 200 Minnesota schools and thousands of students to participate in Walk and Bike to School Day, adding that above the health benefits, the annual event also reduces traffic congestion and strengthens connections between families, schools, and communities.

“Thanks to a new Minnesota state law that requires all public school students to learn safe walking and bicycling skills at the beginning of the school year, Walk and Bike to School Day is more important than ever,” said Dave Cowan, MnDOT Safe Routes to School coordinator. “MnDOT has resources and educational materials to help schools meet this new rule and help make Walk to School Day a success.”

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The National Walk, Bike & Roll to School Day is on Wednesday, October 4. Schools participating in Minnesota can enter a fun photo contest by following two easy steps:

  1. Take a photo of students walking or bicycling to school or around the neighborhood.
  2. Post your photo to the MnSRTS Facebook page by October 20th, make sure to use the hashtag #MNwalks.

Families who live far from school and typically ride the school bus or take a family vehicle, can also participate through a “bus stop and walk” event. Participating schools will designate a drop-off location within a half-mile of the school and volunteers help supervise the walk and assist with crossing streets.

MnDOT adds that participating also encourages parents and community members to begin thinking about ways to improve the walkability and bikeability of their neighborhoods because children often walk to community destinations.

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