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CATA Launches 2010 Clean Commute High School Challenge

Monday, September 20, 2010

Categories: General

Contact: Cathleen Edgerly
Clean Commute Options Coordinator   
(517) 394-1100

LANSING — Students and educators from Lansing's three public high schools — Eastern, Everett and Sexton — will compete on Wednesday, September 22, to receive the honor of being proclaimed the winner of the new 2010 CATA Clean Commute High School Challenge.

On the morning of Sept. 22, students, faculty and staff at each high school will seek to reduce the number of single-passenger vehicles in their respective parking lots by choosing to bus, carpool, walk, bike or vanpool when classes begin. To ensure fairness because the high schools have different student enrollment totals, the winner will be determined by the greatest percentage decrease of single-passenger vehicles in favor of clean modes of transportation. CATA plans to continue the Clean Commute High School Challenge in future years by pitting rival schools against each other across the Greater Lansing region.

"Regardless of whether you are a Viking, Quaker or Big Red, our message to students and educators is don't drive to school alone on Sept. 22," said CATA Clean Commute Options Program (CCOP) Coordinator Cathleen Edgerly. "Our goal is to help students learn about the benefits of clean commuting to their destinations, including promoting healthier lifestyles and improving our environment."

The school that wins the 2010 CATA Clean Commute High School Challenge will display a 6-foot-tall, 4-foot wide sculpture in the lobby that was created with recyclable materials by award-winning Grand Ledge artists Bob Pollack, Larry Stump and Tony Fata. The sculpture was commissioned by Jackson National Life Insurance Company on behalf of CATA.

"At Jackson, we are dedicated to contributing to the social and economic well-being of the communities in which live and work," said Danielle Weller, Jackson's corporate responsibility specialist. "We are particularly proud to support the CATA Clean Commute High School Challenge because of our commitment to enhancing the lives of youth in Lansing."

CATA is also partnering with Citadel Broadcasting's 97.5 NOW FM to generate awareness about the Clean Commute High School Challenge, including features and interviews by popular Lansing radio host DJs with students from each high school's student councils that will appear on the station's and CATA's Clean Commute Facebook pages. The winning school's principal will be interviewed Sept. 22 by 97.5 in the afternoon during their regular weekday host.

In addition to the sculpture, students from the winning school will receive fabulous prizes and gift certificates from several local businesses, including BIGGBY and Q'Doba Mexican Grill.

The 2010 CATA Clean Commute High School Challenge is the newest highlight of CATA's annual Clean Commute Challenge Week that begins Monday, Sept. 20 and continues through Friday, Sept. 24 throughout the Greater Lansing region. The program is free and available to all commuters traveling into, or within, the Greater Lansing region. In order to participate in the weeklong event, commuters can log every one-way trip that they take Sept. 20-24 via bus, carpool, vanpool, bike, or on foot at the Clean Commute Challenge webpage. Free activities or promotions will highlight different modes of commuting each day.  The more clean commutes a person logs, qualifies them for more chances to win prizes from BIGGBY Coffee, the Old Town Commercial Association, MichiVan Commuter Vanpools, MSU Bikes, Spin Street Cycles, and others!

Local colleges — including Michigan State University, Cooley Law School and Lansing Community College — also will compete against campuses throughout Michigan, including Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, and Western Michigan University.  Students, faculty, and staff from the colleges will vie for a chance to win prizes such as a $100 gas card, free coffee from BIGGBY, a CATA bus pass, an Old Town festival prize pack, t-shirts, food from Q'Doba Mexican Grill, and more. 

Activities during the Challenge Week include:

Tuesday, September 21st
Clean Commute on Campus: Clean Commute Options and Be Spartan Green! Will be at MSU's International Center from 11:00-2:00PM to promote the Challenge week; register any students, faculty or staff for the program, giving away freebies, and letting the entire campus know about all of their transportation options.
Wednesday, September 22nd
High School Challenge: The 1st Inaugural Clean Commute H.S. Challenge competition between Lansing schools Eastern, Everett, and Sexton. The winners will be announced on 97.5FM by 9:00AM. 
Friday, September 24th
Clean Commute Closing Celebration 11:30-1:30pm: Come join us for the Clean Commute Closing Celebration on the banks of the Grand at Lansing City Market from 11:30-1:30PM.  Winners of the Campus Challenge will be announced, as well as individual Challenge winners who logged the most commutes, or fulfilled other commuting categories. (ex: the most vanpool trips logged, the best variety of commutes used, longest commute, etc.)
For more information about the Challenge activities, please visit the Clean Commute page, contact the Clean Commute Options Coordinator at (517) 393-RIDE or email cleancommute@cata.org. Thank you for participating, logging your commutes, and making this year's Challenge an even better success, because it all adds up to cleaner air!

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