UMN Morris launches new bike program with community partners

Troy Goodnough

In summer 2023, the University of Minnesota Morris launched a new bike program with partners, including the UMN Systemwide Sustainability Office and UMN Twin Cities Parking and Transportation Services. Partners in the new Morris program include the Regional Fitness Center, Morris Public Library, and UMN West Central Research and Outreach Center. Bikes are also available for students to check-out on-campus at Briggs Library.

Angela Vetsch, Briggs Library Director, “Briggs is committed to helping advance our sustainability work at Morris through collections and programming. From Asking the Big Questions to this new bike program -- we want to provide our students with opportunities to be part of an intentional living and learning community. Students can check these bikes out just like books.”

Previously, UMN Morris had worked with the Regional Fitness Center (RFC) to launch an electric bike program in 2019 with support from the Morris Campus Student Association and the West Central Clean Energy Resource Team. Morris student, August Bushy ‘25, worked as an intern with the RFC to expand awareness of biking options in the community and e-bikes. “During my time as a biking intern, I worked with Clare Sorensen and we saw ridership of the bikes at RFC increase 300%. I am glad to see the biking program in Morris continue to grow.”

As part of the Morris Model initiative, several bikes are now available at the Morris Public Library, which is in a central location in downtown Morris. Anne Hennen Barber, library director, “The library is an important community hub in Morris. Libraries continue to evolve in their services and programs. We are glad to provide an opportunity for community members to hop on a bike and travel around Morris. The library is powered by solar electricity and geothermal energy. The library is also part of the city’s Morris Energy and Environmental Education Pathway. The new pathway features signage across the city that explains more about our sustainability efforts.”

A woman holding a green bike near a flower garden
UMN Morris student Paisley Sierra helped launch the new bike program in the community.