State Rep. John Ward, DFL – Brainerd, is encouraging area elementary and middle schools and their partner groups to apply for Safe Routes to School grant funds. The grant money will go to projects designed to help more children safely walk and bicycle to school. Applications are due Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, and are available at www.mndot.gov/saferoutes/.
Nationally, 25 percent of all children’s traffic fatalities and 15 percent of all children’s traffic injuries occurred when they were walking or biking.
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.
Minnesota has $3.2 million available for infrastructure grants and $800,000 available for non-infrastructure and planning grants for 2013-14. All grants use federal funds, and no local match is required.