Infrastructure is underway in Highgate; Heidi Britch-Valenta, Town Administrator, has been pulling out and dusting off studies she is finding at her Highgate office, some dating back 16 years. Recently the sidewalk committee agenda consisted of Lamkin street sidewalk project, Route 78 AOT safety study crosswalks, 78 bike and pedestrian programs, Gore Road crosswalks, Highgate School, and a Safe Routes to School plan. Why does Highgate what to create a more walk-able and bike-able communities? The answer is simple: Safety and Health! The school has 174 student that live within 2 mile walking distance to the school. This is a perfect length for kiddos to start their day with activity and end it with a great walk home. According to Safe Routes to School, walking and biking to school has many added benefits to our kids including:
- Weight and blood pressure control
- Bone, muscle, and joint health and maintenance
- Reduction in the risk of diabetes
- Improved psychological welfare
- Better academic performance
These benefits are amazing! The Town of Highgate is wrapping around their community to create a safer and healthier place to live. “On October 5th Highgate School will participate in their first walk to school day” Said Highgate School Nurse Jen Gagne. “We are working with Amy Brewer from Northwestern Medical Center and Amanda Holland from Northwest Regional Planning Commission.” Together, they will come up with a travel safety plan which helps identify interventions to impact the entire community in creating a more walkable area. Highgate also has many other asset to its small town, including an extremely active library lead by Liza Comiskey, local meat markets, hardware store, churches , recreation facility, walking paths, and water access. The future of Highgate is looking bright and they have a group of enthusiastic community members working on shaping Highgate into a healthier community .