Active Living Douglas County

Communities in Motion

Welcome!  Thanks for visiting us on the web.

What is Active Living? 

Active Living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into daily routines.  In other words, increasing the number of people walking, bicycling and using other modes of human powered transportation to get to and from destinations like the grocery store, library, shopping centers and many others. 

Ultimately, Active Living is about improving the overall health of Douglas County residents and visitors.


Slow Bike Race

April 25th, 2013 - During the EcoFair held at Discovery Middle School, Active Living Douglas County will host a Slow Bike Race Event. The event will take place on Thursday, April 25th, starting at 5:00pm in the front parking lot of the school. Bring your talent and prepare yourself for a challenge!. Let's see how SLOW you can get to the finish line! Pre-registration is required. Please contact Misty Hvezda @ 320-762-2973. Click here for more details.



Volunteers Needed for Pedestrian and Bicycle Count in Alexandria

August 24th, 2012 - Active Living Douglas County and their partners are looking for volunteers to assist in counting bicycles and pedestrians on Alexandria roadways in mid September.  The effort is part of a statewide count and a local attempt to gather baseline data about the number of bicyclist and pedestrians using Alexandria's roadways.  Click here for more details.     


Douglas County goes "Street Smart"

August 2nd, 2012 - Douglas County has launched a STREET SMART campaign to promote safe walking, biking and driving on our roads.  The goal of the project is to grab attention of the public with 4 strong messages to foster more active, healthy lifestyles while raising awareness that safety is still the number one priority on our roads, paths and sidewalks. 

To highlight the importance of the campaign to the safety of local residents and vibrancy of the community, STREET SMART images will feature some of Douglas County's own "hometown families" and appear on billboards, posters, and other high-traffic areas.

Douglas County BikeShare System Ready for Riders

 April 24th, 2012- A new bicycle sharing system was unveiled in downtown Alexandria today.  A fleet of four bicycles have been purchased and placed at Big Ole/Central Park in downtown Alexandria for the public to use free of charge, courtesy of Active Living Douglas County.  The goal of the BikeShare system is to provide an easy means for people to experience the Central Lakes Trail and downtown Alexandria by bike.  Privided the bicycles are well received, future expansion may include other cities along the Central Lakes Trail like Osakis, Brandon and Evansville. Ride one today!  

Bicycle Skills 101 Class Offered in Alexandria

March 23rd, 2012 - In an effort to educate cyclists across West Central Minnesota, Active Living Douglas County will play host to a Bicycle Skills 101 class on May 5th and 6th, 2012 in Alexandria.  The class is designed to provide cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely and legally in traffic and on the trail.  The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance.  Participants also receive a course manual.  Recommended for adults and children above age fourteen, this face paced, nine hour course prepares cyclists for a full understanding of vehicular cycling.         

The class is taught by League Certified Instructors (LCI) with the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.  Check out our calendar of events in the right sidebar for registration information.     

City of Alexandria Begins Process to Update Comprehensive Plan, Input Sought 

February 3rd, 2012 - City of Alexandria staff have begun the process of updating one of the key planning documents housed in Alexandria's City Hall.  The Comprehensive Plan is a document that provides a long range vision for the community, involving everything from land use, economic development to parks, trails and recreation.    

As part of this update, the City of Alexandria staff has released an electronic survey to gather community input.  Everyone is invited to participate.  Click here to visit the City of Alexandria's Comprehensive Plan hub and participate in the community survey.     


Alexandria Planning Commission Seeks Input on Safe Routes to School Infrastructure Project

December 6, 2011 - The Alexandria Planning Commission has been asked to provide a recommendation to the Alexandria City Council on a proposed infrastructure project set to be built in 2013 in the Lincoln Elementary School neighborhood.  The project includes sidewalk additions, lightening and signs, all designed to make it safer and easier for children living in the neighborhood to walk and bicycle to and from school.  The Alexandria Planning Commission will hold a Public Hearing on the project on Monday, December 19th at 7 p.m. in the Alexandria City Council Chambers.  All members of the public are invited to attend.  Click here for a map of the proposed improvements. 

Scholarships Offered to Douglas County Businesses to Attend 2011 Bicycle Tourism Summit

October 3, 2011 - Active Living Douglas County is offering $400 scholarships to businesses in Douglas County to attend the 2011 Bicycle Tourism Summit.  The event will be held in Mankato on Thursday, November 3rd and is expected to draw businesses from all over the state looking to gain a new spin on tourism marketing  Tim Blumenthol, Executive Director of Bikes Belong Coalition, will highlight the event.  For more information about the Summit click here.  To apply for a scholarship, contact Misty by calling 320-763-6018.       


Alexandria Extrusion Company Out Pedals Douglas Machine Inc. in Friendly Competition

September 20, 2011 - Health and the environment were the real winners in a friendly cycling competition between Alexandria Extrusion Company and Douglas Machine in Alexandria recently.  Both businesses are in the second year of a Cycle to Work mini-grant program funded by Active Living Douglas County.  Year two spawned a spawned a competition between the two companies to determine who could come up with the highest percentage of employees biking to work.  Alexandria Extrusion Company edged out Douglas Machine with 5.28% of their employees biking to work on September 16th.  The prize?  Douglas Machine ponied up $160 worth of Subway gift certificates to the winners from Alexandria Extrusion Company.     

Alexandria's Lincoln School Set to Benefit from Roadway Improvements

August 24, 2011 - Lincoln Elementary School in downtown Alexandria it set to reap rewards after the City of Alexandria received notification of a grant award to improve infrastructure surrounding the school.  Alexandria received word in mid-August that an application submitted by the City for a Safe Routes to School Infrastrucure Grant through the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) was selected for funding.  Once completed, the project is expected to make it easier for kids to walk and bike to and from Lincoln Elementary.  Read more about what the City of Alexandria has planned here.

City of Alexandria Seeks Community Input on Future of Broadway

May 18, 2011 - While the City of Alexandria looks to capitalize on an opportunity to use a considerable portion of Mn/DOT funds to upgrade infrastructure in downtown Alexandria, bicyclists see options opening for cycling along a nearly unridable roadway. 

The City of Alexandria is considering a partnership with Mn/DOT to reconstruct a portion of Broadway (3rd Ave. to 8th Ave.) in 2014.  The resconstruction is slated to give downtown Alexandria a boost, both visually and economically.  Plans include the construction of pedestrian bump outs, bicycle racks, beautification elements like greenery, benches and planters, as well as a bicycle trail along with west side of the roadway.  The proposed bicycle trail is expected to draw cyclists into downtown via the Central Lakes Trail.      

The Alexandria City Council will look for community input on the proposed Broadway reconstruction project set for 2014.  A public information session will take place on Tuesday, May 10th in the Alexandria City Council Chambers.  A presentation by city staff is planned for 7 p.m. with an open question and comment period immediately following. 

For more about the history of the Envision a Redesigned Broadway project click here.   

Active Living Douglas County Offers Cycle to Work Grants

April 1, 2011 - Active Living Douglas County is pleased to announce a grant opportunity available to Douglas County employeers called Cycle to Work.  The goal of the program is to establish a healthy workforce by encouraging employees to ride bike to and from work.

The benefits of cycling to work include avoiding high gas prices, reducing your carbon foot print and getting physical activity, all while having fun.        

Click here for more information on Cycle to Work.

Help in Sight for Walkers and Bikers Crossing 3rd Ave. in Downtown Alexandria

February 8, 2011 - Active Living Douglas County, along with partner Douglas County Safe Communities, are off to a hot start in 2011.  Both groups aim to improve roadway safety for pedestrian and bicyclists and are celebrating a recent victory.  After more than a year of work hard work centered on improving walking and biking conditions on 3rd Ave. in Alexandria, the two groups together have secured funding for an improvement.  The project, slated for construction in 2014, is expected to include a pedestrian median island, a better marked cross walk and connections to the Central Lakes Trail.  For a project summary and before and after renderings click here

Douglas County Takes Big Strides on Active Living

December 2010 - Active Living Douglas County has made significant progress over the past year and is looking to even bigger things in 2011.  A focus on active living began in late 2008 when Douglas County Public Health received financial and technical support from BCBS's Center for Prevention to focus on creating a community that is conducive to physical activity.  A partnership was formed called Active Living Douglas County.   

After a robust planning period, 2010 marked the first year of implementation.  Since that time, a significant number of accomplishments have taken place.  Read more.  

Bicyclists Soon to Enjoy Safer Routes

Douglas County residents and visitors will soon be able to enjoy two new safer cycling routes.  Geneva Road in Alexandria and County Road 42 are receiving makeovers and both will include ample room for cyclists to enjoy the road. 

Geneva Road will receive new pavement and two bicycle lanes.  Geneva Road also serves as a connection between neighborhoods and Discovery School.  With the makeover, Geneva Road will provide a safer route for kids to get to and from school by foot or bicycle.

County Road 42 got the offical nod from Douglas County Commissioners to designated the roadway as an offical bike route upon its completion.  Along with the bike route designation, the roadway will have parking restrictions which will allow cyclist a safer path.                                          

Photo provided by: Brown


Osakis Community Walking Maps Released

Just in time for a fall walk, Active Living Douglas County has released a series of five walking maps for residents and visitors to Osakis.  Similar to the walking maps completed for Alexandria, each map features historical facts about the community and enjoyable walking routes of approximately 2 miles.

Click here for an electronic copy of a map or a list of locations in Osakis where maps are available. 


Osakis Students Form Walking School Buses

Osakis School is encouraging students to use an old fashioned form of transportation to get to and from school this year, their feet.  Students, with the help of volunteers, are forming walking schools buses aiming to get children to school safely, while having fun and getting exercise.  Read more here




Central Lakes Trail Connection Receives a Makeover

Say goodbye to the steep muddy slope connecting the Central Lakes Trail to the parking lots of Burger King, Tire Maxx and Super America on 3rd and Nokomis Street in Alexandria.  Work began on September 2nd, 2010 and was completed in late October to make that connection a safer, more usable, all weather trail route for residents and visitors.  See our photo gallery for pictures of the work in action. 

In 2009, Active Living Douglas County captured, on film, 29 "cow paths" along the entire length of the Central Lakes Trail in Douglas County.  A "cow path" is a path worn by humans through grass, snow, dirt or other natural elements.  The presence of "cow paths" along the Central Lakes Trail may indicate the need for improvements to that connection.

The path leading to Berger King, Tire Maxx and Super America marks the first trail connection improvement made to the 29 areas identified as a concern by Active Living Douglas County.  Please send your thank you's to these businesses for making it happen by stopping by with your bicycle the next time you're enjoying the Central Lakes Trail.   

Douglas Machine Holds Cycle to Work Day

Douglas Machine kicked off a new cycle to work initiative with its first ever Cycle to Work Day on July 28th, 2010.  Over 30 cyclists participated in the event and rode a whooping 190.65 miles combined to and from work that day.

Douglas Machine has additional Cycle to Work days planned in August and September.

Hats off to Douglas Machine employees for making health a priority!  

Douglas County Parks Questionaire

You can help shape the Douglas County Master Parks, Trail and Recreation Plan by sharing your thoughts, ideas and priorities with County staff and park planning consultants from HKGi by completing a questionnaire. 

Complete your questionaire here

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