The Healthy Active Places Tour is an event to promote healthy and active youth, families, and communities and advance community-based efforts to create Safe Routes to School in a region of America with huge needs.
September 28 to October 4, 2014
A small but ambitious group of women will crisscross California’s Central Valley by bicycle, riding approximately 300 miles from Sacramento to Fresno in one week to connect with communities on the ground and better understand the concerns of their residents. Along the ride, the Healthy Active Places Team will stop at schools to promote local efforts, celebrate grant awards, and advocate for more resources to improve walking and bicycling conditions in those communities in the coming years.
The HAP Tour is co-organized by Ride America for Safe Routes and the enthusiastic staff of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and will expand the National Partnership’s network and capacity to advance policies and funding for Safe Routes to School in the Central Valley of California. In addition, the Healthy Active Places Team will fundraise to support more of the National Partnership’s work in communities across America.
Why focus on the Central Valley?
The San Joaquin Valley, also known as the Central Valley of California, is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the world – growing 25% of the food Americans eat on 1% of America’s farmland – yet it is one of the poorest and unhealthiest places in the country.
Cities in the Central Valley consistently rank at or near the top of the list for the worst air quality in the nation, and residents in many communities lack basic infrastructure let alone safe places to walk, bike, and play.
As a result of these factors and the sad irony that low-income residents in this fertile agricultural region don’t have access to healthy food, Central Valley communities face alarming rates of overweight and obesity, asthma, diabetes, and other related chronic diseases. Also important to the Healthy Active Place Team, the Central Valley has a younger population than California as a whole, with nearly 35% of residents under 20 years of age, and youth in this region have higher (and rising) rates of overweight and obesity than the California average.
The Healthy Active Places Tour is coordinated by the Safe Routes to School National Partnership‘s state network in California, to expand and strengthen the capacity of network partners in the Central Valley. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to advance safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities. All proceeds from donations will benefit the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
Ride America for Safe Routes (RASR) promotes bicycling for transportation and public health and bicycle safety through advocacy bicycle tours, to experience conditions on the ground and help to raise awareness in communities with the greatest needs for bicycling infrastructure. RASR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and a project of several members of the Healthy Active Places Team. The inaugural RASR event was a 5200-mile, 3-month ride from Key West to San Francisco in Spring of 2012.