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DL receives $5,000 Safe Routes to School grant

The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the recipients of $768,000 in federal funding for Safe Routes to School. The grants will support Safe Routes to School plans at 70 schools in 35 communities and implementation grants at 22 schools in nine communities.

Detroit Lakes is one of those communities receiving funds for sidewalks. Perham also received a grant for planning assistance.

Detroit Lakes Public Schools received $5,000 to support an education and public awareness campaign including international Walk to School Day and Bike Walk to School week as part of the implementation grant.

"These projects will help communities increase opportunities for kids to walk and bike to school," said MnDOT Commissioner Tom Sorel. "More kids walking and biking means less traffic on the road and in front of schools, improving safety and promoting healthier kids."

Schools received grants in two categories:

• Planning assistance -- Funding to complete a Safe Routes to School plan to help analyze existing conditions, gather public input and identify potential infrastructure and non-infrastructure solutions at K-8 schools.

• Implementation grants -- Funding for education, encouragement, enforcement and evaluation activities.

MnDOT announced the available grants in March and received 27 applications for planning assistance and 11 applications for implementation grants.

All Safe Routes to School grants use federal funds, and no local match is required. Each grant includes a resolution of support from the local governing body to ensure community support. Grants for infrastructure projects, such as sidewalks and crosswalks, were not available this year.

Since 2005, MnDOT has awarded $11.3 million in federal funds to communities to support Safe Routes to School. The majority of funding -- $9.9 million -- was awarded for infrastructure projects. The remainder is allocated for non-infrastructure items and activities. Funding for Safe Routes to School is available in all 50 states.

More information on Safe Routes to School is available at