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Wellmark Foundation grant funds bicycling campaign

Grant, chosen from 150 requests, will encourage bike use for both health and transportation

February 15, 2011

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(Des Moines, Iowa) – The Iowa Bicycle Coalition will use a $56,250 grant from the Wellmark Foundation to implement a wellness program focused on bicycling for Iowans.

25-week challenge encourages using bikes for short trips, physical activity
The Iowa Goes By Bicycle Campaign will promote bicycling as an enjoyable recreation activity as well as a viable transportation option. The campaign will issue a 25-week challenge designed to make daily activities seem easier with a bicycle than with an automobile.

Challenge participants will use their bicycle for physical activity and record their use online or in booklets. Points will be given for each minute they bike to work or school, run errands or ride for fun with friends.

The goal of the challenge is to enroll 1,000 participants who bicycle for 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week. Successful participants will log a total of 3,000 minutes and 500 miles each by the end of the challenge.

A social media component, including a web site, Facebook and Twitter accounts and more, will inspire participants and connect them to the challenge. The campaign will also develop an educational guide containing:

  • Basic cycling information
  • How-to guide
  • Travel tips
  • Community resources
  • Trails
  • Contact information for local bike clubs

Grant one of only 17 competitively selected
The Wellmark Foundation is a non-profit foundation that seeks to improve the health of Iowans, South Dakotans, and their communities. Through its 2010 Healthy Communities Grant Program, the Foundation received nearly 150 grant requests. This grant award to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition represents one of 17 competitively awarded to establish or expand health initiatives throughout Iowa and South Dakota.

Cumulatively, The Wellmark Foundation is proud to award $1,334,817 to these 17 grants to serve as catalyst funding for local health projects.

“Cycling is both a great way to exercise and a viable transportation option,” says Matt McGarvey, the Foundation’s director. “Including exercise in our daily routine can improve our overall health and quality of life.”

About Iowa Bicycle Coalition
The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is an organization working to promote Iowa cycling as safe and enjoyable recreation and transportation. The non-profit group was launched by bicycling advocates from across Iowa and unites the voices of road riders, mountain bikers, recreation riders, commuters, and anyone else who prefers a bicycle for recreation and transportation.

For more information on the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, contact Mary Wyatt, (515) 309-2867 / mark@iowabicyclecoalition. For more information regarding the Wellmark Foundation and its grant programs, visit




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