Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is an international movement to enable and encourage students to safely walk and bicycle to and from school. SRTS programs are the result of parents, schools, communities and government joining forces to improve the health and safety of our children, our future leaders.

SRTS programs focus on the "5E's":

  1. Education efforts to teach pedestrian and bicycle safety skills
  2. Encouragement activities to build interest and enthusiasm
  3. Enforcement measures to address safety issues
  4. Engineering solutions to maintain traffic control devices and physical infrastructure
  5. Evaluation methods to monitor impact and identify areas for improvement and growth


Northeast Iowa is fortunate to have a regional SRTS program, which serves over 10,000 K-8th students in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek Counties. The Northeast Iowa SRTS Program, managed by UERPC’s Regional SRTS Coordinator, partners with the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative to increase physical activity among students and safety within our communities in many ways:

  • Walking School Bus. A Walking School Bus is a group of students walking to/from school with responsible supervisors. It can take place daily, weekly or monthly.
  • Remote Drop-off. This is a variation of a Walking School Bus. Students who live far from the school can be dropped off at a location away from school grounds to walk the remaining trip to school.
  • Bike Rodeo.  A Bike Rodeo is a popular and fun event teaching children how to properly and safely ride a bike.
  • Mileage Club. Students earn rewards by walking a certain number of laps around a track, gym or school hallway. It could take place at gym class, recess or an after-school club.
  • Active Classroom Learning. Sneak physical activity into classroom learning. One example is Stories in Motion, where students act out stories as they are read aloud.
  • SRTS Community Coalitions. School and community advocates join forces to build SRTS efforts and increase safety measures locally.


SRTS work in Northeast Iowa is truly a unique and exciting adventure because of the region's rural setting. Historically, SRTS efforts have been designed for urban settings so the Northeast Iowa SRTS Program is really one of a kind. It is developing a rural, regional SRTS model which is paving the pathway for bringing the benefits of SRTS to rural populations all across Iowa and even the country.

Want to learn more about SRTS in Northeast Iowa? Contact Ashley Christensen, Regional Safe Routes to School Coordinator for Northeast Iowa at 563-382-6171.

 

"I am way too busy - but I enjoy this, and love the kids!  If it were any other time of day I could not make it work.  I am not an "earlybird" by any means, but I have really enjoyed this."
~Volunteer for morning Walking School Bus in West Union

"This was so well publicized and ran. My entire family enjoyed ourselves during the event and the kids were so excited to get practice on their big-boy bikes! I hope you continue doing it."
~Parent who attended the North Fayette Valley Bike Rodeo


News Headlines

UERPC July Newsletter

Posted: Tue, July 21, 2015

Some of the headlines you can read about this month:

  • First Time Homebuyer Funding Available
  • Board Member Spotlight-Les Askelson
  • Protect Iowa Habitat-Observe Mowing Restrictions
  • UERPC Employees Attend Workshop
  • Oelwein IRP
  • SRTS Annual Report Now Available
... [ Read More ]

Housing Program Meeting Being Held

Posted: Wed, May 6, 2015

Housing Program Meeting Being Held
Tuesday, May 19th at 11:00 a.m.
Oelwein Chamber and Area Development
25 West Charles, Oelwein, IA

Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission (UERPC) is hosting a meeting regarding housing programs that are available in Northeast Iowa.  Guest speakers include Jeremy Babcock and Steve Benne with Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), Jerry Floyd and Rita Eble from the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) and Kathy Pfiffner from USDA.

Hot Topics include:

  • IEDA Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program (WHTIP) is to provide financial incentives for the development of housing.
  • IEDA Owner Occupied Rehabilitation to assist with rehabilitation assistance for low-to moderate income homeowners in their community.
  • IFA First Time Homebuyer or Qualified Veteran program to assist with down payment and rehabilitation assistance.
  • USDA-Repair and Rehabilitation Program to assist applicants with 1% loans and those 62 and older with grants for homeowner rehabilitation.
  • USDA Direct and Guaranteed loan programs for help in purchasing homes.
  • USDA Multi-Family Housing to assist with rental assistance in rural development financed apartments.
  • UERPC Housing Trust Fund Programs-Funding available to assist homeowners and landlords with rehabilitation assistance.
  • UERPC-Housing Choice Voucher program provides rental assistance to those under 50% of HUD’s income guidelines.


This meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at the Oelwein Chamber and Area Development office at 25 West Charles Street, in Oelwein.  If you are interested in attending this meeting or would like more information please contact Mary Huinker at 563-864-7551 ext. 111 or by emailing Lori Brockway at lbrockway@uerpc.org.

... [ Read More ]

FREE Informational Session on Financing Sources for Businesses

Posted: Fri, May 1, 2015

Clayton County Development Group in Elkader the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Cedar Rapids and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission in Decorah are holding an informational session on various sources of financing for start-up & existing businesses.  SBA, a federal government agency devoted to assisting small & medium-sized businesses, will have a representative discussing business loan options, and Clayton County Development Group and Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission will have a representative discussing RLF funds available for businesses.  The 1-1/2 hour session, including questions & answers, will take place on Tuesday, May 12th starting @ 5:30 PM at Clayton County Office Building at 600 Gunder Rd. in Elkader, Iowa.  Register today to attend contact Darla Kelchen at 563-245-2201.

WHAT:       Free informational session on sources of money for businesses
WHO:        New/start-up and existing business owners/managers
WHEN:      Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 starting @ 5:30PM & wrapping up by 7PM
WHERE:    Clayton County Office Building 600 Gunder Rd. Elkader
COST:        Free

Join Clayton County Development, Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and SBA to learn more about the options available for financing your business.  Also, discussed briefly will be government contracting opportunities and free counseling along with low cost training resources available for businesses.  Get your questions answered.  Register by contacting Darla at the CCDG office at 563-245-2201.

... [ Read More ]

Office Car For Sale

Posted: Mon, April 27, 2015

UERPC is seeking car bids for a 2007 Malibu, LS V6 package, 141,993 highway miles, grey, four-door, cloth interior, very clean. Minimum bid is $2,400.

Please submit sealed bids to Executive Director, Rachelle Howe, UERPC, 325 Washington Street, Decorah, IA  52101.  Bids will be opened at 12:00 Noon on May 7th. You do not need to be present at opening of bids.

... [ Read More ]
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