Updates from Moving Matters, a project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic
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Great Places: In Progress
From Schroeder to Grand Portage and up the Gunflint Trail, Great Places will be popping up all around us this summer. Moving Matters staff has been traveling the county, documenting the creation of these great places. Check out the spotlight below on one of these 16 great places in progress.

Counting More than Cars

Traffic counts are one of the basic building blocks of transportation planning and engineering. And while cars have typically been the focus of counts, bicyclist and pedestrian counts are now becoming recognized as an important part of planning as well! In Cook County, the Moving Matters project and SHIP (State Health Improvement Program) have been doing in-person pedestrian and bicyclist counts, as we've highlighted in past newsletters. These counts are also happening statewide through an initiative spearheaded by MnDOT called the 'Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Counting Initiative'. Another part of this MnDOT initiative is to do a number of unmanned counts, using automatic counters. Moving Matters is working with this initiative to bring an automatic counter this summer to Grand Marais, to supplement the human powered counts.

The data collected through these counts, manned and unmanned, will provide insight into the bicyclist and pedestrian demand in our area. Counts in Grand Marais are very timely as the City of Grand Marais will soon be kicking off a Streetscape Redesign Process for the Highway 61 corridor in Grand Marais. In the future, pedestrian and bicyclist counts will help us better plan infrastructure to support healthy living and safety.

Whether on foot, bike, or car, keep an eye out for us this summer while we are counting. You might just get counted!

Spotlight on a Great Place: Birch Grove Foundation

The Great Place Race has gotten off to a terrific start! Sixteen projects across the county and Grand Portage are in progress (and a few are even completed). One of these new great places is in Tofte outside of the Birch Grove Center. The Birch Grove Foundation applied for a Great Place Race grant to take their outdoor hearth oven and transform it into a great place for their community of residents and visitors. Located just off the Gitchi Gami Trail, it is easily accessible on foot or bike - a perfect location for a great place. The hearth oven has been a gathering place from the start, but it was missing a few key things.

With the grant, the Birch Grove Foundation is adding two benches (that also transform into picnic tables), an herb and veggie garden, and a bulletin board. The small garden will not only add life for the space, it will also provide fresh, healthy ingredients for the community pizza bakes. On the bulletin board they will post information about the facility, upcoming events, and will also have a map showing where visitors have come from to join in Birch Grove events (from far and near).

Be sure to join the Birch Grove Foundation for one of their events this summer and check out this new great place. For more information, visit: http://www.birchgrovefoundation.org.

    News from the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic

Sharing Healthy Food in our Community
More fresh and healthy produce is making its way to the people that need it in Cook County, thanks to the Cook County Food Shelf. With support from the Community Transformation Grant, the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic has worked with the Food Shelf to establish a "produce voucher" included in food boxes. The green produce voucher can be redeemed at local grocers for fresh fruits or vegetables of the individual's choice. The Clinic has also worked with the Food Shelf to create a set of guidelines for garden produce donations. The gardeners and farmers of Cook County are very generous with their extra produce and these guidelines help ensure that each donation is safe, useful, and fresh.
The Cook County Food Shelf is open every Monday afternoon from 3 to 5 pm in the lower level of First Congregational Church UCC in Grand Marais. The food shelf also is open the first Wednesday night of each month from 5 to 7 pm. The church is located at 300 West Second Street. For questions about produce donations, please read the Produce Donations Document, or contact the church at 387-2113.
Moving Matters is a project of the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and many local partners. We strive to create safer and more accessible walking and biking routes for people of all ages and abilities throughout Cook County and Grand Portage. Funding for this project is provided by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, as part of Blue Cross’ long-term commitment to tackling the four leading causes of heart disease and cancer: tobacco use, lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating.
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