Polar Bears International

Nolan has biked to school every day in February, even in the rain, as part of his school's Polar Pedal program.

© Courtesy of Lorretta Moore Wingo

2/17/2017 12:38:19 AM

Polar Pedal –Davis Students Help Polar Bears

A school program in Davis, California, empowers students to reduce carbon emissions and help polar bears by walking or biking to school. The program, Polar Pedal, takes place throughout the month of February. Its mission is to connect the students’ daily actions with their effect on the environment.

“For this program, students get a point for biking or walking to school,” said Lorretta Moore Wingo, Safe Routes to School program coordinator. “Collectively, the school district is working towards 500 trip-points to symbolically adopt one polar bear.”

Eight elementary schools and 1 junior high are participating. Their goal is 10,000 trips and 20 polar bear adoptions. Each elementary school has a “Goal Chart” to track their progress.

“So far I have been hearing that the kids are super excited about helping polar bears!” said Moore Wingo. “Each school will have the opportunity to name a bear. The school and public libraries will be doing displays on polar bears to help with educational component.” 

The trips are recorded with Active4.me, a bar code scanning software that was donated to the Davis schools by Davis resident Tim Starback.  

This program is funded in part by a grant from Kaiser Permanente. The artwork was created by graphic designer Tara Parker-Essig a UC Davis student who volunteered her time and creativity to create the goal chart, banners, stickers, and pledges.

“Community-based solutions like these are gaining momentum and give us #climatehope,” said Marissa Krouse, Polar Bears International’s programs manager. “Kudos to everyone involved in Polar Pedal for such a fun and worthwhile program.”

For information on starting a similar project in your community, see our Transportation Challenge Toolkit.

Polar Pedal display in Davis City Hall. Photo courtesy of Lorretta Moore Wingo

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