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Safe Routes to School Grant Funds Available

by Dawn Hegland on October 25th, 2012

Minnesota elementary and middle schools and their partners are invited to apply for Safe Routes to School (SRTS) grant funds for projects that will help more children safely walk and bicycle to school. Applications are due Friday, February 15, 2013.

Kindergarten through eighth-grade schools in Minnesota may apply for grants in three categories:

  • Infrastructure implementation grants – Schools, in partnership with cities or counties, will receive grants to support infrastructure that improves safety or access for children walking and bicycling to school.
  • Non-infrastructure implementation grants – Schools will receive small grants to support education, encouragement, enforcement or evaluation activities related to safe walking and bicycling to school.
  • Planning assistance – Schools will receive expert assistance to complete a Safe Routes to School plan, which will analyze existing conditions, gather public input and identify potential infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions.

Students board buses after school at Bert Raney Elementary in Granite Falls, MN.

Minnesota has $3 million available for infrastructure grants and $800,000 available for non-infrastructure and planning grants for 2013-14. All SRTS grants use federal funds, and no local match is required.

Communities or schools applying for infrastructure implementation or non-infrastructure implementation grants MUST have done some prior Safe Routes to School Planning. If you have not done any Safe Routes to School planning, the planning assistance grants offer an excellent opportunity to work with local experts at the UMVRDC to develop a Safe Routes to School Plan that will identify and address issues at your school and in your community to help students walk and bike to school safely and more often.

Since Safe Routes to School’s start in Minnesota in 2005, no schools or communities in our five county region, prior to last year, had been successful in receiving Safe Routes to School funding. Last year, seven schools in our region received planning assistance grants:

  • Yellow Medicine East’s Bert Raney Elementary School and Middle School in Granite Falls
  • Stevens Elementary School in Dawson
  • Appleton-Milan Elementary School in Appleton
  • Madison-Marietta-Nassau Elementary School in Madison
  • Northside Elementary School (K-4) and Benson Elementary School (5-6) in Benson

Additionally, the Canby School District received a non-infrastructure implementation grant of $20,000 to hire a Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the district for two years.

We at the UMVRDC highly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to apply for Safe Routes to School grants! For application assistance or questions, contact Lindsey Knutson, Transportation Planner, at lindsey.knutson@umvrdc.org or 320-289-1981 ext. 7.

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