Shifting community fitness into a higher gear
Little Earth of United Tribes sits next to a busy hub of activity, the neighborhood playground. Kids zoom to and from the park on anything with wheels, from bikes and scooters to roller blades and roller shoes. How’s a mom to keep up?
For the moms at Little Earth of United Tribes, the introduction of a new bike-sharing program meant an opportunity to enjoy more active quality time with their kids. Darlene Fairbanks, resident service advocate for Little Earth, explains, “Walking a lot is built into the lives of many of the moms in our community. Biking is a more enjoyable activity, so when we proposed the idea of the program here, it was very well received.”
The bike share program is part of a larger wellness initiative at Little Earth, encouraging walking, biking and better nutrition.
“A lot of the moms make sure their kids have bikes, but the adults don’t necessarily have bikes,” Fairbanks said. “The bikes in the bike share program have racks on them, so if people need to go to the grocery store or pharmacy, they can take a bike to do their errands.”
The bikes are for all residents of the Little Earth community. The bright pink and black bikes are easily recognizable to avoid theft, and the colors lend themselves to the adult women in the community, who represent the majority of the heads of household in the Little Earth residential housing. Community residents can simply call or walk-in to sign out a bike for an hour or the whole day, once they’ve received the bike safety lessons.
Making it better
While the bike share program is still in its first year, the excitement and interest for the program bodes well for continued use and possibly an expansion of the program in coming years.
“People were already kind of bike sharing around here, borrowing each other’s bikes. This program provides real opportunity to get more people out there biking, and Minneapolis is a great city to bike in,” Fairbanks said.
What’s moving in your neighborhood? What do you want to roll out? Share your ideas here.