Clawson sprints to silver status

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published November 12, 2014


CLAWSON — The City of Clawson received the 2014 Silver Award from the Michigan Fitness Foundation in honor of the community’s commitment to advocating for an active lifestyle. 

The Silver Award was granted to Clawson through the 2014 Promoting Active Communities program, which recognizes communities for their commitment to increasing the health of residents through active living.

“We received the award because of our policy and philosophy of an active-living community where it’s easy to integrate physical activity into our daily routines,” said Clawson Mayor Penny Luebs.

Luebs said Clawson has a complete streets philosophy — a design or planning principle to enable access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities — and a community vision including walking and biking.

“Clawson is small enough, 2 1/2 square miles, that we are able to walk or bike where we need to go, and we continue to encourage this,” she said.

Michelle Snitgen, Michigan Fitness Foundation active communities coordinator, said the program has three award levels: Silver, gold and platinum.

“The Silver Award is an award for significant progress in creating active places and spaces,” she said.

Snitgen said communities receive points for policies, programs and built-environments that promote an active lifestyle. Eighteen communities received either Silver or Gold awards this year. She said that since 2000, 144 communities and 57 counties have participated in the program.

“The communities range from really small to larger urban communities from all over the state,” Snitgen said.

Clawson participated in the Active Community Awards program last year and received an honorable mention.

“With our commitment to walking and biking in Clawson, including Bike to School Day and Walk to School Day, we now have reached the higher level,” Luebs said. “There are a few more levels to go, so we still have a little bit of work to do, but I am pleased that the City of Clawson was recognized for the efforts in our walking and biking community.”

The Michigan Fitness Foundation facilitates the Promoting Active Communities program to help communities better understand their assets and barriers to active living so that they can create places that support physical activity.