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Making it Better Conference Call for Presentation Proposals

The 2011 Making it Better Conference, held Nov. 14-16 in Minneapolis, MN, will bring together stakeholders from throughout the country to increase knowledge of best practices; build skills in policy, systems and environmental change efforts; and facilitate learning from each other in an effort to address the epidemic of obesity and commercial tobacco use and exposure.

The conference has issued a Call for Presentation Proposals for breakout and training sessions during the conference. Consider submitting a proposal to present a session on physical activity promotion strategies in your community. Need ideas? Did your community pass a Complete Streets policy? Work on Safe Routes to School? Implement quality physical education standards? Facilitate a joint use agreement with a school? Increase access by bicycling and walking to community facilities? Share your story!

The application is a very short form (a 15-20 minute time commitment) that describes the breakout or training session you would be interested in presenting. Proposals are due Friday, September 16. Check the link for more information and the application: http://www.makingitbetterconference.org/.

Conference presentations will meet the following criteria:

  • Focus on improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, or reducing commercial tobacco use and exposure;
  • Address either policy, systems or environmental change strategies;
  • Include one of the following settings: Community (rural, urban, tribal) schools, health care, worksites;
  • Identify ways to sustain PSE strategies or efforts.

Again, consider submitting a presentation proposal for the conference. Please feel free to contact Christina Thill (651)201-3668 or christina.thill@state.mn.us if with any questions.

Safe Routes to School Funding Opportunity

The National Center for Safe Routes to School is now accepting applications for 25 mini-grants of $1,000 each. These mini-grants support the goal of Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs, which is to enable and encourage children to safely walk and bicycle to school. SRTS programs are implemented nationwide by parents, students, schools, community leaders, and local, state, and tribal governments.

Mini-grants fund activities that range from the nuts and bolts that help start or sustain a program to new ideas that explore the range of benefits of safe walking and bicycling. Selected mini-grant proposals will fit a school's identified needs and interests around safe walking and bicycling. The mini-grant activities should occur between January 1, 2012, and the end of the Spring 2012 semester.

Possible mini-grant activities: improve safety, increase the number of students walking and biking to school, educate on physical activity benefits and overall health, explore environmental connections, engaging civic discussions with youth, and enhancing the overall school climate.

Applications are due Wednesday, October 19, 2011.  Visit Safer Routes Mini-Grants for more information. 

2011 Bicycle Tourism Conference in Mankato

Get a new spin on tourism marketing. This one day workshop will get you on your way. Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong Coalition, will be the keynote speaker and help attendees:

  • Generate ideas by seeing successful bicycle tourism examples.
  • Learn about the latest marketing opportunities to promote bicycle tourism in your area.
  • Get advice on creating a bike-friendly community.

The workshop is geared toward: Chambers of commerce; Convention and visitors
bureaus; Lodging establishments and local businesses that can benefit from increased
tourism; Tour operators; Bicycle clubs and trail associations; Bicycle trail providers;
and Local government officials.

For more information, visit Explore Minnesota Bicycle Tourism

Bikes Belong Research Grant Opportunity

The foundation aims to support its mission and programs by funding a limited number of research grants each year. Research grants will focus on two priority areas:

  1. Economic Impact: Research that examines the economic impact of additional or improved bicycling facilities or bike-related events.
  2. Special Opportunities: Innovative or unique research efforts considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants interested in this priority area should contact the Research Analyst before submitting an application.

The foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of Bikes Belong designed to create a better, safer future for kids and adults who ride. Established in 2006, the foundation is working to make bicycling safer, get more kids riding, and improve the health and quality of life for Americans.

Applications are due September 30, 2011. For more information, visit Bikes Belong Foundation Research Grants. 

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is pleased to announce a request for proposals from Minnesota schools committed to integrating environmental and outdoor education into grades 7-12. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2011. Teams of teachers from an anticipated six schools will be selected to receive up to $5,000 in mini-grants and several days of free training from Minnesota environmental and outdoor education experts over the next two years. This funding is for the purpose of designing and implementing innovative environmental and outdoor education programs that bolster student achievement in middle school or high school science, physical education, social studies and/or mathematics.

Application materials, including more details on the program, are available on the MDE website. Contact Jeff Ledermann at 651-582-8602 or jeff.ledermann@state.mn.us for further information on this funding opportunity.

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

Calendar of Events


MN PA e-news is a free statewide information network open to individuals and organizations interested in physical activity. Minnesota Physical Activity e-news (MN PA e-news) are distributed to all those interested in promoting physical activity, and includes physical activity information on grants, resources, programs, conferences and more. To subscribe: email health.activeliving@state.mn.us or visit www.health.state.mn.us/physicalactivity,

View archived MN PA e-news at www.health.state.mn.us/physicalactivity.

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