East Central Wisconsin Safe Routes to School Coalition
Transform Wisconsin Project
The East Central Wisconsin Safe Routes to School Coalition was informed in July 2012 that they were the recipient of a Transform Wisconsin Active Communities Grant. Transform Wisconsin funding allows the East Central Wisconsin Safe Routes to School Program to elevate its work to promote physical activity.
The program focuses on empowering local communities and school districts with the resources and knowledge needed to implement SRTS activities. The Safe Routes to School program will begin to focus their work with Shawano School District as one of the five focus areas of the Regional SRTS strategic plan to develop and implement joint use agreements to increase healthy recreational opportunities.
“We have a strong vision of providing every person in our community with a safe place to play and exercise and we encourage you to get involved to help make this effort a success,” said Tom Baron, associate planner at East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. “We are committed to working together to improve the health and strength of communities throughout Shawano School District area and we can’t wait to get to work.”
Research shows that making recreational facilities more accessible to the public significantly increases a person’s ability to be physically active. Physical activity is critical to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, as well as curbing chronic diseases. Nearly half of people in Wisconsin don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity.
“The Shawano Safe Routes to School Task Force is very excited to partner with East Central Planning Commission, and the Shawano School District to create joint use agreements with the Active Communities impact grant that East Central received, said Nancy Schultz, WIC Nutritionist with Shawano Health Department and Safe Routes to School Chair. “Our primary goal is to get adults and children more active and healthy and with this grant we hope to expand ways to offer more physical activity opportunities within our community.”
The East Central Wisconsin Planning Commission will continue this work, while bringing together new and existing partners to make meaningful, long-term improvements to the health and wellness of this community. The first year of the grant will build off of the SRTS Program and will utilize existing relationships in the Shawano County Health Department, Shawano School District, and the Shawano Pathways to expand recreational opportunities by using joint use agreements. The staff will then work with Transform Wisconsin to provide programming for year two of the grant.
Matty Mathison, a Shawano Pathways member who taught in the Shawano School District for 39 years and also a board member of East Central Wisconsin Safe Routes to School is also very excited about the grant. “Receiving a Transform Wisconsin grant will be a tremendous boost for our area. The continued collaborative efforts of S.P.O.K.E.S. with our school district, chamber and city allows us to provide greater opportunities for our citizens to enjoy a healthy life-style.”
The East Central Wisconsin Safe Routes to School coalition is one of 30 communities around the state awarded Transform Wisconsin grants in an effort to create healthier places to live, work and play. $6.6 million will be invested over the next 26 months with the goal of creating healthier communities and reducing preventable chronic diseases. Transform Wisconsin is built on the idea that smoke-free air, fresh fruit and vegetables, and safe places to play should be available to everybody.
Transform Wisconsin Fact Sheet and Information Brochure
The Transform Wisconsin project will directly reach about half the state’s population — over 2.6 million residents. All across the state, communities will be building on local efforts to improve health by empowering individuals to make healthier choices and preventing chronic disease.
For more information on the Shawano Transform Wisconsin grant, contact Tom Baron by email or call 920-751-4770.
For more information and to sign up to volunteer for this project, please visit www.transformwi.com. You can also learn more about the East Central Wisconsin Safe Routes to School program at www.eastcentralsrts.org .