Last updated: 1st June 2006

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Columbia Partnership and Mayor Darwin Hindman Win National Active Living Awards

4th May, 2006


At the 2006 Annual Active Living by Design Meeting, Columbia's Active Living partnership led by the PedNet Coalition won the top "High Gear" award, and Mayor Darwin Hindman won the Active Living Leadership award.

“Bike, Walk and Wheel: A Way of Life in Columbia”

Active Living by Design recognizes the “Bike, Walk and Wheel: A Way of Life in Columbia” partnership (shown, from left to right, Fred Schmidt and Ian Thomas of PedNet, , Ann Cohen of the University of Missouri, and Amy Stringer of the Missouri Foundation for Health) for building remarkable momentum and taking a giant leap during its second full program year. After a productive first year, partnership has been able to shift into “high gear” in a number of ways:
  • After establishing successful monthly Walk-to-School days and other related events at four schools in Year One, they added nine self-sustaining Walking School Bus teams;
  • After piloting a seven week Physical Activity Self-Challenge pilot at two schools in Year One, they expanded it to a three month Passport to Fitness program that included their target schools and most recently registered 2,100 children throughout the school district. They also added a 12 session Nutrition and Fitness class for youth at high-risk for obesity;
  • After conducting several promotional events and establishing a very solid media presence in Year One, they maintained that momentum. But they also produced a 15 minute cable TV program, conducted extensive surveys, produced campaign materials and have now launched a multimedia social marketing campaign;
  • After passing new citywide street standards in their first year, they: planned and passed a $3.5 million ballot initiative for sidewalks around schools: passed line items in the city budget for two programs, and incorporated a zoning reform initiative;
  • After a modest effort to establish a flag crosswalk in their first year, they went on to develop a one mile urban loop trail in a low-income neighborhood and to secure one of four $25 million national Non-Motorized Transportation Pilot program grants from the US Dept. of Transportation to help build Columbia’s ped/bike network; and
  • After generating $2,000 plus some in-kind for operations during Year One, they were able (with timely and very significant support from the Missouri Foundation for Health) to generate over $350,000 to support their present and future activities.
They have also been able to build a solid Healthy Eating by Design initiative at the West Boulevard Elementary School during this same period.

Mayor Darwin Hindman

Active Living by Design recognizes Mayor Darwin Hindman of Columbia, Missouri (shown with wife, Axie) for his unrelenting and effective leadership as an elected official and the active living legacy he has already left his community. Mayor Hindman has been an active living champion throughout his public life:
  • Pioneered the rails-to-trails movement, recruiting and working with Ted Jones (the CEO of Edward Jones Investments) on the cross-state Kaity Trail which helped set the legal precedent for rail banking;
  • Promoted the development of the 9-mile spur trail in Columbia, called the MKT Trail, by convincing the town (against a vocal opposition) to secure the right-of-way through eminent domain just as we do for roads;
  • Directed the campaign to fund and build Columbia’s hugely successful Activity and Recreation Center that has far exceeded all projections for its use;
  • Promoted the charge for progressive new street construction standards in Columbia, and supported the placement of $4.5 million on the November 2005 ballot for sidewalks around schools ($3.5 million of which were approved);
  • Set up the Mayor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Health to recognize those who make significant changes in their lifestyle or who successfully mentor others;
  • Established the Mayor’s Bike Walk and Wheel Week to promote active transportation;
  • Successfully fought for numerous city and neighborhood parks;
  • Lobbied hard and successfully with Senator Kit Bond to secure Columbia’s inclusion as one of four national sites to receive $25 million to help build their bike/ped network. He used Columbia’s plans and previous achievements, the Active Living by Design initiative and the work of the PedNet Coalition as the justification; and
  • Consistently bikes and walks around town – modeling the behavior and showing the vigor that inspires others.

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The PedNet Coalition
of Columbia, MO
pednet@pednet.org