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Looking back, looking ahead

How can it be December already? 2022 has been quite a year for 1000 Friends of Wisconsin! We hosted monthly webinars and a transportation forum, continued to push for sustainable alternatives to highway expansions in Milwaukee, spoke at conferences, helped coordinate Transit Equity Day in February, partnered with COWS and two Green Tier communities to develop safe bicycle & pedestrian routes to schools and parks, and much more.

We have seen engagement in the Active Wisconsin network with the monthly e-news and participation in our webinar series. We have continued building connections with each other and learning from experts during the network calls.

On a personal note, I have learned a lot in the last year. I have truly enjoyed interacting with network members and working with the Active Wisconsin steering committee, a real cracker jack team of individuals with lots of energy and ideas to help me find my way managing this program. I am really looking forward to the year ahead.

Is it safe to say that after more than two years of pandemic-related upheaval, we are finding our footing again - so to speak - as proponents of active transportation? There is certainly new energy around advocating for safe streets, committing to Vision Zero, and increasing access to bike & pedestrian routes. It is encouraging to see support from the federal level, with funding in the recent IIJA and IRA bills and leadership from US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeg boosting these efforts across the country.

As a statewide network of communities and advocates who promote active transportation, Active Wisconsin is crackling with potential to ride this wave of enthusiasm and make Wisconsin a shining example of community-led efforts to make walking, biking, and transit safer and more accessible to everyone regardless of their background. We have exciting plans for Active Wisconsin in 2023 and can’t wait to share them with you soon!

Happy holidays and warm wishes to all!

Susan Gaeddert, Community Programs Director

Image: an empty bench along a snowy trail through a prairie on a clear, sunny day

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