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Polar Pedal

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 Polar Pedal Logo. Green with polar bears. Text: "Help Polar Bears by Riding Your Bike in February!"


Our mission is to teach the connection to the student’s daily actions and the environment. Polar Pedal empowers students to help Polar Bears and create positive change in the environment by walking and biking to school.

Program Description:

Join us in our POLAR PEDAL and for the entire month of February if you bike or walk to school you earn points toward adopting a Polar Bear for your school. DJUSD elementary schools will work together on a goal to adopt polar bears through Polar Bear International. For every 500 trips to school Davis Students complete a polar bear will be adopted! Our target is 10,000 trips for the month of February! To participate you must scan in!  Don’t have a scan tag yet??? Register here: .

 Did you know the only way to save polar bear habitat is to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions? One way you can help is by riding your bike. The link to polar bears is direct, because most vehicles burn fossil fuels, which create CO2. And the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the warmer the Earth will be. You can help by biking and speaking up for a bike-friendly community.

In 2017, DJUSD students braved the weather and successfully biked, walked, scooted or skipped to school 7220 times.  We adopted 14 polar bears! In 2018, DJUSD students made 9071 trips to school and adopted 18 polar pedals!

Each school received a polar bear adoption certificate and the book “The Polar Bear” by Jenni Desmond. This book was nominated as one of the best science books of 2016 by NPR’s Science Friday.  We are happy to continue to add books to the local libraries – this complements our ongoing Books on Bikes program.

Parents said that helping polar bears has been great motivation to get their kids on bikes.  Other parents have been pleasantly surprised by the fun that can be had walking to school in the rain - exploring for worms, looking for wayward tree limbs and marveling at the grand scale of the neighborhood puddles.  The bike riders have been reporting epic puddle splashes and can be observed with huge grins arriving at school!

Willett elementary had a classroom challenge where the classroom with the most bike/walk/scoot/skateboard trips in February wins a Klondike bar party and naming rights to the Polar Bear – The winner was Mr. Millie’s 4th grade class with a whopping 76% of the students scanning in the month of February. 

A polar bear sized thank you to the parent and volunteer champions who not only encouraged the students to ride but who were also out in the polar conditions bright and early every school morning. This program would not have been possible without generous funding from Kaiser Permanente – thank you!  Thank you to graphic designer Tara Parker-Essig ( a UC Davis student who volunteered her time and creativity to create the goal chart, banners, stickers and pledges.