Why they stand out
New Holstein is a small city with impressive resourcefulness and creativity in making it easier and safer for people to walk and bike. Public works routinely prioritizes safety improvements at street intersections and existing sidewalks. City leaders actively champion and explore new possibilities, like painting bike lanes, adding bike racks in City Hall and other locations, developing a bicycle and pedestrian plan, and creating public art on sidewalks and intersections. Leaders also provide consistent budget support to implement priorities.
Strong relationships stretch limited dollars by leveraging partners’ time, talent and resources; for instance, the police and fire departments lead the city’s annual bike rodeo and help communicate safety infrastructure improvement needs to local officials. The business community often steps up with financial donations to keep key projects moving forward. A broadly-shared local commitment makes New Holstein’s strong progress possible.
New Holstein’s collaborative spirit extents regionally as well, which further benefits the community. They city has a local Safe Routes to School program, an intergenerational Cycle Without Age program, and is part of a regional bike wayfinding signage effort - thanks to partnerships with East Central Regional Planning Commission, U-CAN (Calumet County’s physical activity and nutrition coalition), and the Wisconsin Bike Fed. The city’s wayfinding system participation ties into its vision for a trail network that will eventually connect many towns and cities through the area. Well-utilized trails already exist, like the Solomon Trail that connects New Holstein to nearby Kiel. Dedicated champions, including the mayor, have worked over the years to complete more links. Expect New Holstein to make great strides going forward. Their can-do attitude and collaborative mindset shows how much small communities can accomplish when everyone works together for a common goal.
Approach to Equity
New Holstein sees itself as a small, homogenous community, but acknowledges that marginalized groups (e.g., those of low socioeconomic status, persons with disabilities, etc.) face barriers to being physically active and that such groups aren’t generally represented on decision making groups. They plan to work to better understand the factors contributing to inequities in their community as they consider what steps this might lead to in their future work.
Additionally, the city notes that a state highway divides the town in half. The North side, with its older and more affordable housing stock, has the elementary school, while south of the highway sit amenities like a newer park, pool and trails. Consequently, they have prioritized investments in safer crossing so that people may access the resource on each side, and are especially focused on ensuring safe crossings during the summer months.