2014 Bike & Walk to School Challenge
Bea Underwood Elementary wins Challenge
Students burn 161,406 calories in annual competition
Bea Underwood Elementary in Battlement Mesa has won the 2014 Garfield Clean Energy Bike & Walk to School Challenge. The school, which also won in 2013, will receive a $1,000 prize. An awards assembly was held on May 22 at the school.
Sopris Elementary School participants
Gretchen and Annalise Laven
Mario Starszak and Kade Winger
Bea Underwood Elementary Awards Assembly, May 22, 2014
Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson presents the first place school award to Bea Underwood Elementary Principal Kathy Keeling, left, and Physical Education Teacher Sarah Dillon.
Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson encourages Bea Underwood Elementary students to roar in celebration after announcing that their school won first place.
Dana Wood, executive director of LiveWell Garfield County, presented awards to the top three classrooms. Wood also told students about the value of exercise and healthy eating.
Carbondale Community School placed second and Carbondale Middle School won third, and will receive cash prizes of $300 and $150. The countywide classroom winner is Grace De La Sala’s seventh-grade homeroom at Carbondale Middle.
The Bike & Walk to School Challenge is a county–wide event that encourages elementary and middle school students to use alternatives to the family automobile to get to and from school. Students earn points for getting to and from school by riding the school bus, carpooling with other families, biking and walking.
Eight schools and 109 classes in those schools joined the Bike & Walk to School Challenge, held April 15–17. All told, by walking, biking and other means, the participating students saved $18,984 in fuel costs and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 11,042 pounds. Students also burned 161,406 calories as part of the event.
Parents value the event because it gives youngsters a fun, team-building experience with active transportation.
“It is important to me and my husband to instill in our kids that the car is not the only form of transportation available to them,” said Katie Laven of Glenwood Springs. Her daughters attend Sopris Elementary School and biked to and from school. “The Bike and Walk to School Challenge is the perfect way to get them on board.”
The schools that participated were Rifle Middle School, Crystal River Elementary, Carbondale Community School, Carbondale Middle School, Ross Montessori, Sopris Elementary School, Glenwood Middle School, and Bea Underwood Elementary.
The Challenge also reduces traffic congestion around schools.
“I noticed a distinct decrease in vehicular traffic around town the past couple of afternoons,” said Mike Mines, a teacher and bus driver at Carbondale Community School, during the event. “It's a phenomenon I've noted before on days that we have school but the other schools don't. It's amazing how much car traffic is generated by kids getting to and from school."
The 2014 Challenge was sponsored by Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, Berthod Motors, Ragged Mountain Sports, Grand River Health and LiveWell Garfield County.
Results from the Challenge—including gasoline savings, pounds of carbon dioxide not released, and calories burned—will be used in promoting cycling and walking as the healthiest and cleanest forms of transportation in Garfield County.
Safe Routes to School maps
2014 Challenge winners
1st: Bea Underwood Elementary
2nd: Carbondale Community School
3rd: Carbondale Middle School
Crystal River Elementary
Carbondale Middle School
Carbondale Community School
Glenwood Springs Middle School
Glenwood Springs Elementary
Rifle Middle School
Parachute / Battlement Mesa
Bea Underwood Elementary
2013 Challenge winners
1st: Bea Underwood Elementary
2nd: Carbondale Middle School
3rd: Carbondale Community School
Jumbo: Rifle Middle School
Garfield Clean Energy
Bike and Walk to School Challenge
Dr. Paul Salmen
and Ms. Nancy Reinisch