Oxford County Moves is an initiative aimed at making it easier for people in Oxford County to stay healthy by biking and riding their bikes. It focuses on making walking and biking safer and easier to do, and was begun in the fall of 2012 with funding from a federal Community Transformation Grant for Small Communities. Thus funding allowed Healthy Oxford Hills to convene teams of community advocates across Oxford County to work on improving physical activity opportunities. The groups, called Active Community Environment Teams, or ACE Teams, currently serve the communities of Rumford/Mexico, greater Bethel, and Norway/Paris. A county-wide ACE Team also exists, and is part of the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative.
Oxford County Moves developed a number of resources to help make walking and biking easier and safer, including:
- education and awareness materials (a poster series, short video, and brochure encouraging to reinforce the message that “roads are for everyone”)
- an active Facebook account that shares information about physical activity opportunities and resources
- a website to offer basic information about safe and responsible walking, biking, and driving
- a series of maps showing some of the most popular bike routes in Oxford County
- plans for the placement of signage to help cyclists find their way on mapped bike routes, and to make other road users aware of their presence
- a Western Maine Active Communities Toolkit to support the work of ACE teams
The initiative will continue to work at getting more people walking and riding bikes so that Oxford County can be a healthier place.
For more information, call Brendan Schauffler at 739-6222 or visit www.oxfordcountymoves.org.