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Boreal Community Media

Maren Webb receives Bicycle Friendly Community Champion award

Jun 09, 2018 02:55PM ● By Editor
Dorian Grilley, executive director of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, presented the Bicycle Friendly Community Champion award to Maren Webb on Saturday, June 2, in Saint Paul at the alliances annual meeting. Photo courtesy of Maren Webb

By Brian Larsen of the The Cook County News Herald - June 8, 2018

This coming August will mark Maren Webb’s fifth year working as the coordinator, Moving Matters, and Safe Routes to School coordinator. A lot of hard work has led to a lot of good things happening for the community over that time, and for her considerable efforts Maren was selected to receive the Bicycle Friendly Community Champion award by The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BAM). 

On Saturday, June 2 Maren attended the awards ceremony held at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul at the Alliance’s annual meeting.

In noting her accomplishments, a statement from BAM said,

“For the past five years Maren has been championing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and programming in Grand Marais and Cook County as the head of a program called Moving Matters. Grand Marais was awarded a bronze BFC award four years ago and upon renewal last year they became the first community outside Minneapolis and Saint Paul to achieve a Silver award.

“Maren has been instrumental in creating the Grand Marais Hwy 61 Redesign project and has been an unwavering advocate for multi-modal transportation. Due to her projects, many area businesses have bicycle racks, the local bicycle loan program (Workers on Wheels) has more consistent funding, and the Gitchi Gami State Trail will be finalized within the city limits of Grand Marais. Maren has also spearheaded projects for children by helping to organize bike safety training for the third graders and helping to organize the annual “Bike Safety Rodeo.”

When asked about the event, Webb responded, “This Bicycle Friendly Community Champion award reflects the immense partnership and dedication our community has shown to making it safer and easier to bike and walk, for people of all ages and abilities. Advancing to become the smallest Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community in the United States was due to the strides we have made in bicycle education, infrastructure improvements, and many other small changes that together make a big difference for our residents in safety, health, and quality of life.”

According to Bicycle Alliance, the goal of the awards is to recognize the significant accomplishments that bicycling advocates and educators are making throughout Minnesota to implement the BikeMN Vision: “bicycling should be an easy, safe, and fun activity for everyone.”

After the ceremony Webb said, “Thank you to the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota for this honor as well as for the support and resources that have been shared with Grand Marais and Cook County over the years, including the Walk!Bike!Fun! curriculum used to teach bicycle education to elementary students in Grand Marais and Grand Portage and support from Natalie Gille, Greater Minnesota program manager.

“In addition, thank you to the Minnesota Legislature for continuing to support the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) through the Minnesota Department of Health and to the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota for the five year investment for active living in Grand Marais/Cook County.” 

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