ST. JOSEPH -- Waite Park and St. Joseph are partnering on a new pilot program designed to get residents active.

Both cities recently approved partnering on a statewide grant for a Bike Share Program.

Therese Haffner is the Community Development Director for St. Joseph. She says they were presented the idea by Stearns County, who was looking for communities interested in starting an active living program.

I met with Allison Dudek with Stearns County Human Services to discuss potential ideas. She shared with me the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University were awarded a Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grant a few years ago to start their bike share program so we thought why not expand on that.

Haffner says with the new Lake Wobegon trail extension they felt it was a good fit to partner with Waite Park.

The Bike Share program includes roughly 10 bicycles, and a docking rack with electronic lock system to be placed at River's Edge Park in Waite Park and the Lake Wobegon trail head in St. Joseph.

Residents will be able to download the app and reserve the bike on their credit card. There is a fee, it's $1 per hour. Then they will be able to not only ride to Waite Park but beyond, but do need to return the bikes to one of the stations in Waite Park or St. Joseph.

Haffner says the program will be reevaluated in a year. Residents are expected to start renting out the bikes this spring.

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