Note: As of January 1, 2008, the Active Living Network is no longer operational. To stay connected to the active living movement, visit RWJF's related national programs: http://www.rwjf.org/programareas/npolist.jsp?pid=1138.
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Wendi Kallins: Marin County, California

Founder & Director, Safe Routes to Schools

Wendi Kallins“I’m not an exercise person,” says Wendi Kallins, creator and director of the award-winning Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) program in Marin County, California. “But I love hiking and biking, and by walking to places I get to have my exercise without having to go to a gym or lift weights.”

In 1998, Marin County was one of two SR2S pilot programs established by the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTS) to improve safety, and reduce traffic and air pollution near schools. In the program’s first year, the number of students walking and biking to school in Marin County increased by 57 percent.

The SR2S program encourages kids to walk or bike to school, and Kallins believes that healthy kids are more likely to grow up to be healthy adults.

“By changing the habits of children at an early age it changes their habits for a lifetime,” she says.

Under Kallins’ leadership, the program became a model for other SR2S grassroots efforts across the United States. As a nationally recognized leader in the movement, Kallins has trained and consulted with many of the new SR2S communities.

“[Active living] gives people a sense of place and a sense of community and it keeps them healthy and living longer,” she says.

SR2S programs were established in 2005 when Congress passed federal legislation that dedicated a total of $612 million to programs around the country from 2005 to 2009.

Kallins has seen firsthand how one idea can grow into a larger movement. “To start the program in Marin and help get the program in other communities can change the world,” she says.

Learn More

The Role of Schools in Preventing Childhood Obesity

Marin County Bicycle Coalition

Safe Routes to Schools

Related Content:

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership has selected nine key states and the District of Columbia to participate in a project to promote walking and biking to school. Funded by the Ro ...

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership has selected nine key states and the District of Columbia to participate in a project to promote walking and biking to school. Funded by the Ro ...

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