The Walker bicycle Friendly Committee after the reveal designated the town with a bronze level award.

The League of American Bicyclists recognized Walker with a bronze Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award Tuesday morning, joining 475 communities across the country in building better places for people to bike.

With the announcement of 39 new and renewing BFCs, Walker joins a team of communities that are transforming the American landscape and leading on livability measurements important to community members.

“We applaud communities like Walker for making bicycling a safe, comfortable, and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “We are inspired by leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex public health and safety challenges faced at both the community and national levels.”

Walker Mayor Jed Shaw opened Tuesday’s ceremony with comments thanking the local committee and business for supporting the Bike Friendly Designation. Leech Lake Chamber employee Roxie Parks then opened a box, stuffed with bronze-colored balloons, for the big reveal.

The League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America program sets the standard for how how communities evaluate their quality of life, sustainability, and accessibility, while allowing them to benchmark progress toward making biking better. With this latest round of new and renewing awardees, there are currently 475 Bicycle Friendly Communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bronze BFC award recognizes Walker’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investments in bike infrastructure, education programs, and promoting and encouraging bicycling through events and pro-bicycling policies.

More than 800 communities have applied for recognition by the Bicycle Friendly Community program, which provides a roadmap to making biking better for communities of all shapes and sizes. The rigorous application process is an educational tool in itself, and includes an opportunity for local bicyclists to provide input on their experiences and perceptions of bicycling in their community.

The five levels of the BFC award — diamond, platinum, gold, silver and bronze, plus an honorable mention category — provide a clear incentive for communities to continuously improve. Awarded communities must renew their status every four years to ensure that they not only maintain existing efforts, but also keep up with changing technology, national safety standards, and community-driven best practices.

To learn more about the BFC program, visit bikeleague.org/community.

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