Walla Walla University students and Blue Zones Project Walla Walla Valley volunteers installed a temporary two-lane bike path along Fourth Street. On October 20, as part of WWU’s annual Service Day, students helped set up cones and spray painted lines denoting the bike lanes. The temporary track will be replaced in summer 2022 with a permanent installation as part of a partnership between the city of College Place and Blue Zones.
The goal of the bike path is to create a more “complete street” that offers a safer and more convenient option for people walking and biking. “Helping people move naturally is an important way to increase physical activity and positively impact physical and mental health in our community,” said Emily Brown, public policy advocate, Blue Zones Project Walla Walla Valley.
The bike path project is one of the multiple parts to the Blue Zones Project, which is a community improvement initiative and the signature service project WWU is involved with this year. The opportunity to work with Blue Zones Project Walla Walla Valley and the city of College Place aligns with the WWU core theme of Generosity in Service. “We are delighted that this event and the upcoming expansion of the city’s permanent bicycle lanes will increase awareness and improve the safety of bike riders in our community,” said Aaron Nakamura, director of marketing and university relations at Walla Walla University.
The project focuses on a “community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks.” It is based on research conducted by Dan Beuttner, a New York Times best-selling author. He researched “blue zones”, the five cultures around the world where there is the highest concentration of people who live to be 100 years old or above. The project is brought to the Walla Walla Valley in connection with Adventist Health and WWU.
To learn more about the Blue Zone Project, or how to get involved with the Center for Humanitarian Engagement at WWU, visit wallawalla.edu/che.
Posted October 21, 2021