Photo by David Fulmer
Article by Theresa Roach
More than 2,500 miles in active and alternative transportation were recorded by local organizations and companies during the Commuter Challenge, a county-wide competition led by the Safe and Active Genesee for Everyone (SAGE) coalition. Challenge participants walked, biked, carpooled and took public transportation to and from work or during workday errands from May 16 through May 20 in an effort to demonstrate the ease of integrating physical activity into daily routines and creating a healthier Genesee County.
Leaders in this friendly competition, earning the highest percentage of participation in their size category, were the Disability Network and the Crim Fitness Foundation, both with 100 percent participation, followed by the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (70 percent participation) and the University of Michigan – Flint Walk and Bike Work Group (20 percent participation). Together, these organizations and their competition – the University of Michigan – Flint College of Arts & Sciences, The Green Stewards, Ruth Mott Foundation, Flint City Bicycles, The Lunch Studio, City of Linden, Linden Fire Department and Crim Fitness Foundation – recorded 2,631 miles by walking, bicycling, ridesharing and using public transit. In recognition of this year’s winners and their commitment to people-powered transportation, SAGE will provide a lunch celebration for their teams.
“The Commuter Challenge gave The Disability Network the opportunity to see teamwork in action! All staff encouraged each other to participate through ride sharing to lunch, to conferences in Lansing, or meetings out in our community,” said Carrie Baugher, Community Technology Center Coordinator at the Disability Network. “Not only was there economic savings, but the Challenge allowed us the opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint through a fun event.”
The Disability Network is also the home team of four individuals who earned prizes for logging the most miles overall. The first place winner will receive a year membership to the University of Michigan – Flint Recreation Center. The participants landing in the second, third and fourth place will receive gift certificates to local running/walking stores and Crim Fitness Foundation merchandise for their unwavering commitment to active living.
Smart Commuting encourages people to engage in regular physical activity to improve their health, which can lower employer healthcare costs and increase productivity. Encouraging employees to walk or bike is also a simple way to reduce an organization’s carbon footprint and make the shift toward becoming a green company. Businesses that make it easy for employees to smart commute are investing in the community and helping to create a more active, livable, and economically viable hometown.
The Commuter Challenge was sponsored by SAGE, a community-based collaborative effort focused on creating safe and accessible pedestrian and bike-friendly environments for all residents. SAGE is funded by the Ruth Mott Foundation and coordinated by the Crim Fitness Foundation, in partnership with the Michigan Fitness Foundation. For more information, please visit http://www.crim.org/
©Theresa Roach, 2011