Safe routes to school


Hennepin County Public Health is developing Safe Routes to School (SRTS), implementing policies and procedures in multiple school districts including St. Louis Park, Eden Prairie, Brooklyn Center, Osseo, and more. Most significant, says Bradford Kissel, communications coordinator for the county, is the infrastructure changes that the SRTS work has influenced. “Work includes a new sidewalk at Glen Lake elementary school and various changes (sidewalk, street

reconfiguration, new crosswalk) near Alice Smith elementary school—both in the Hopkins school district,” Kissel says, as an example.


Here are some suggestions from Hennepin County on how you can implement safer routes to school in your neighborhood/


Start a “Walking School Bus” or “Bike Train”—a fun and active version of a carpool. 


Participate in the International Walk to School Day, coming up in October.


Consider a “park and walk” option if you live too far away from your child’s school. Traveling by foot even part of the way in will reduce traffic in key areas and jumpstart a sluggish morning brain.


For more information, go to


In brief


European children’s clothing retailer Polarn O. Pyret (pronounced “POH-lahrn oh PEE-rhet” and nicknamed PO.P) is opening at the Galleria Edina shortly. Swedish for “Buddy and the Little Guy,” its philosophy for 35 years has been to

design clothing that lets children be children. When PO.P opens its 1,774-square foot store across from Melly and Pumpz & Co. in the Center’s east end, it will be the fourth location in the U.S.; Blooma has expanded into St. Paul, in the

heart of Cathedral Hill at 493 Selby Avenue. Blooma offers a full range of pre- and post-natal yoga, wellness, and education to women and families; Ladibugs, specializing in 100 percent chemical-free lice removal, has opened a second

location in Woodbury at 1103 Weir Drive; Dog Day? Head to the Aster Café in NE Minneapolis’ St. Anthony Main. The restaurant was recently named one of the top five restaurants throughout the U.S. considered “pet-friendly.” Says, “On [the Aster’s] outdoor patio, dogs are welcomed by staff who provide water and ice for thirsty pets. While Fido enjoys a fresh drink, owners can enjoy a great meal.”; Well, we already knew this one, but now the secret is

out/ Parenting magazine ranked Minneapolis/St. Paul #7 on its “Best Cities for Families 2012” list. The list of the country’s top locations for raising kids was compiled by ranking 100 cities based on categories such as education, health,

community, charm, and culture using nearly 4,000 pieces of data. Says Parenting, “The Twin Cities ranked high on our list for healthy air, healthy people and safe streets for strolling as well as a lower unemployment rate. Minneapolis has

made a commitment to its cyclists by doubling the miles of on-street bike lanes over the last two years for a total of 81 miles of on-street lanes and 85 miles of off-street bike paths. St. Paul is committed to creating a sustainable city

by reducing pollution, constructing green buildings, developing more transportation alternatives like light rail and restoring green space by planting trees and native plants in the parks.”; Minnesota’s own Metro Dentalcare received national

accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care for reaching the highest standardized quality of care, ensuring its patients receive the most reliable and consistent service available; Upcycling and recycling

pioneer TerraCycle of Trenton, N.J., runs free collection programs for glue bottles, pens and markers, Scotch Tape, keyboards and computer mice, among other things. Any parent, teacher or other interested party can sign up for free at For each item returned, regardless of brand, the collector earns points toward charity gifts or cash donations to any school or non-profit of their choice. 





Make carpooling and traveling easier with BubbleBum, a portable, inflatable booster seat. Throw it in a backpack or flight bag—no more lugging an unwieldy car seat onto the plane. Pick up your car rental, blow it up, and you are ready to

go. Weighing less than a pound, it inflates and deflates easily and also comes with positioning clips in place of arm rests. Great for kids ages four to 11 and weighing between 40 and 100 pounds. Available on or;

about $40