News release: Minnesota communities partner with MDH to host workshops on improving walkability

News Release
September 5, 2019

Contact information

Minnesota communities partner with MDH to host workshops on improving walkability

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will conduct four Walkable Community Workshops in October to help four communities across the state step up their walking options and increase pedestrian and driver safety.

Improving walkability increases street safety for everyone and makes walking an easy choice to nearby destinations. Studies show that people become more active when improvements such as adding sidewalks and pedestrian crossings are made. In addition, making walking easier helps foster social interaction, improves local economies, reduces air pollution and benefits the overall health of community residents.

“Walking is an excellent way to become more active and improve health,” said Assistant Commissioner of Health Dr. Courtney Jordan Baechler. “We are excited that these communities are stepping up to not only increase physical activity, but also to consider investments that can make their communities more fun and attractive places to live.”

The following locations will host workshops:

  • Red Wing (Oct. 1, Red Wing Ignite Building), focusing on the East End neighborhood. Local hosts are Live Healthy Red Wing and Live Well Goodhue County.
  • Glendale Townhomes family housing (Oct. 4, Loxton Park Recreation Center, Minneapolis), which is a set of public housing units owned by the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) and located in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Local hosts are the MPHA and Minneapolis Health Department.
  • Lincoln County in southwestern Minnesota (Oct. 9, Tyler Fire Hall, Tyler). Local hosts are Southwest Health and Human Services and Lincoln County Active Generations.
  • Fergus Falls (Oct. 15, Otter Tail Historical Society Museum, Fergus Falls). Local hosts are West Central Initiative and PartnerSHIP 4 Health.

At the workshops, participants will develop strategies to improve walkability within their communities. Local hosts will receive up to $5,000 to support implementation priorities identified during the workshops. This funding was made possible through the State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To learn more about the workshops, contact MDH at


Media inquiries:

Scott Smith 
MDH Communications