The Mayor’s Walking Challenge Rewards Mayors Who Walk 10,000 Steps a Day in October With $1,000 for Their Communities
Choosing to participate in the Mayor’s Walking Challenge was a no-brainer for Post Falls Mayor Ronald Jacobson.
“I’m active anyway,” he says. “To have the opportunity to earn money for recreational needs is an incredible offer by the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, and I’m thankful for it.”
This is Jacobson’s first year competing in the Mayor’s Walking Challenge, which expanded to a statewide event last year. He’s one of five mayors from Kootenai County participating. Mayors who average 10,000 steps a day during October are awarded $1,000 for their community.
Mayors earn bonus steps for walking with kids and stressing the importance of being physically active. As mayor, Jacobson does more than talk about it – he’s committed to make it happen. He and city officials try to make Post Falls a haven for pedestrians and cyclists. Just look at the first item on the city’s transportation plan:
“Strive to improve livability while addressing the needs of all modes of transportation by taking into account complete streets and road diet concepts; this is an overarching consideration of all aspects of the transportation plan update” is how it reads.
“It’s really important to keep people safe,” Ronald says. “I feel like Post Falls is getting better all the time for people who want to get out and walk or ride a bike.”
The Centennial Trail, a 23-mile path along the Idaho and Washington state line, is Post Falls’ most popular pedestrian venue. Jacobson said the city has applied for grants to build an additional trail that would allow residents to safely get from one side of I-90 to the other and is always looking for recreation opportunities.
The fast-growing city also tries to build in walkability as new neighborhoods are constructed.
“We ask developers to put in trails when they are developing neighborhoods, and that’s what people want,” he says.
Ron, who is a part-time mayor who also is a Senior Vice President at bankcda in Coeur d’Alene, has been involved with government since 1999 when he was appointed to city council. He also has served on the Post Falls Parks and Recreation Commission and the Post Falls Urban Renewal Agency.
To ensure he gets the 10,000 steps a day he needs to earn the funds for his community during the Mayor’s Walking Challenge, he’ll stick to what he usually does. He also will walk with his wife, who is an avid walker who has done several international walking/hiking trips.
“I get steps throughout the day, and I work out at noon,” he says. “A lot of the time it’s back and forth, normal stuff. I recently had a big day on Sunday — I worked on our 2.5 acres, and then if I walked 18 holes of golf and got about 25,000 steps.”