TSET Healthy Living Program (HLP) grantees in Adair County have added crosswalks, speed bumps, and stop signs to high-traffic areas to increase safety for children who walk to Stilwell Middle and Elementary schools. The resources and support made available by Cherokee Nation’s TSET HLP and OSU High Obesity Program (HOP) will incentivize physical activity in the community and create a safer environment for pedestrians. Cherokee Nation’s TSET HLP along with OSU HOP are part of the Adair County Community Health Coalition.
How did you develop this idea?
“A lot of our kids walk to school,” said Shaina Kindle, assistant coordinator at TSET HLP in Adair County. “Some don’t have any other way to get there. They live close by and walk, but it wasn’t safe.”
In collaboration with the city of Stilwell, Cherokee Nation’s TSET staff conducted walkability surveys and gathered tally sheets demonstrating the need for safer walkways, which culminated in the passage of both Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets resolutions. Largely financed by OSU HOP, the project was completed and installed from May to July of this year.
What outcomes have been achieved?
The joint efforts have transformed the area of 6th and Olive streets, adding a full crosswalk, four speed bumps, more signage, and turning the two-way stop into a four-way stop. The installation of sidewalks that connect the grade school, middle school, and downtown will begin this fall thanks to a Safe Routes grant awarded to the City of Stilwell.
The extra safety measures not only connect the schools, park, and library, but also incentivize walking in the community and set the stage for even more opportunities for physical activity.
“We’re in the beginning stages of planning a walking school bus,” said Kindle. “We had a walk-to-school day last year and the kids loved it. We’re giving kids that experience of walking in their community and utilizing their sidewalks and street space in a different way.”
To learn more about this community effort, or to get involved, contact Shaina Kindle, Public Health Educator with Cherokee Nation.
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