Today, fewer than 15 percent of schoolchildren walk or bicycle to school, according to the Cascades West Rideshare program.

Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments has been working with schools in Newport and Lincoln City to create Safe Routes to School “Action Plans” over the past two years.

Safe Routes to School is a national movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from schools. Safe Routes to School promotes community connectivity and can play a critical role in addressing childhood obesity and inactivity. According to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, in 1969, approximately 50 percent of children in the U.S. walked or bicycled to school.

Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG), in partnership with the Oregon Safe Routes to School program and community partners, is hosting a Walk and Bike to School Day in Newport, Wednesday, May 6.

Students and community members are invited to join us for a fun, free community bike ride and walk. Bike riders should meet at 7:30 a.m. sharp at Bike Newport, 150 NW 6th Street. They must have a helmet and a safe working bike. A parent/guardian must ride too.

The group will bike to Sam Case Elementary, Newport Intermediate, Newport Prep Academy, Newport High, and Our Living School. Walkers should meet by 7:30 a.m. sharp at the First Presbyterian Church, 227 NE 12th Street. The group will walk to Sam Case Elementary and Newport Intermediate. A police escort will be provided by the Newport Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

Free healthy snacks, coffee for the parents, and safety-related giveaways such as lights will be offered at the event.

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