The city of Colorado Springs now has an opportunity to design safer, healthier and more accessible ways for members of the community to travel around town by bike or on foot.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado recently awarded the city a $99,999 grant as part of the nonprofit health plan’s Walk and Wheel grant program. The program was designed to engage Colorado communities in the creation of safe environments that foster access to a variety of healthy ways to commute.
This grant will be used by the city’s parks department and transit division, with approximately $40,000 dollars going towards the transit division’s programs and the remaining $60,000 dollars will be used for parks department initiatives. Together, these funds will help Colorado Springs greatly expand our efforts to support walking and biking across our region. Specifically, this joint Colorado Springs Walk and Wheel grant will be used to:
- Create six new community-wide cycling events
- Expand the number of locations for Bike to Work Day
- In Partnership with Kids On Bikes, build two first-of-their-kind “Bicycle Library Workshops” at our community centers
- Add a number of bike racks to popular parks
- Expand the department’s Bicycle Counter program
- Fund a Colorado College Public Interest Fellowship Program Fellow to support the department
- Fund staff to support the Transit Division’s Bike to Work Day initiative
“We are very grateful for the generosity of Kaiser Permanente and are excited for the possibilities this grant holds for our City. With an ongoing Regional Bicycle Master Plan, new trails and on-street bicycle improvements planned for the next several years, the timing of this grant could not be any better,” Jill Gaebler, Colorado Springs city council member.
“The way we design our cities can have a huge impact on the health of our communities. By improving access to trails and paths through the Walk and Wheel program, we are taking a step in the right direction for making the healthy choice the easy choice,” said Holly Kortum, PharmD, Kaiser Permanente’s executive director in Southern Colorado.
Kaiser Permanente awarded $865,000 in Walk and Wheel grants to nine communities in Colorado. Through funding, technical assistance, evaluation guidance, and community engagement resources, Kaiser Permanente aims to partner with local governments to promote healthy living and encourage citizens to lead active lifestyles.