Q & A with Sarah Mazze, incoming Safe Routes to School Program Manager for Eugene 4J School District

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Q: Sarah, what were you doing before working on Safe Routes to School?sarah-mazze

A: For the last three years, I was the Volunteer Coordinator for Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah. Prior to that, I was a Program Manager with The Resource Innovation Group (also known as Climate Leadership Initiative) working on reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the household, business and community level through behavior change programs like a solar bulk purchasing program and climate change education programs. I got my start on this type of work as a graduate student at the University of Oregon working with undergraduate teams participating in the Environmental Leadership Program.

Q: Sarah, you’ve told us that the Safe Routes to School Coordinator position is a dream job for you. What’s exciting to you about Safe Routes to School?

A: In so many cases, the solutions to major societal challenges have side effects that threaten to outweigh the benefits. In this case, we’re bundling up multiple problems – traffic injuries, obesity and health problems related to inactivity, climate change, a disconnect from nature – and providing a graceful solution through Safe Routes to School. It’s not a simple solution, but in that sense it’s also realistic and more interesting. I love the “6 E’s” of the program and the fact that we’re not just encouraging and educating people around using active transportation, but also improving infrastructure to make walking and biking easier and safer.

Q: What’s been your favorite walking or biking trip?

A: Hands down, the John Muir Trail. My husband and I spent three weeks hiking it the year before our daughter was born. Every vista was breath-taking, and not just because we were hanging out at around 10,000 feet for much of it!

Q: How else do you enjoy spending time?

A: I get great joy from time with my family and friends; making music; and being outside camping, hiking, biking and gardening. I also volunteer with Eugene 350.org to address climate change.

Welcome Sarah!

You can reach Sarah Mazze, Safe Routes to School Program Manager for Eugene 4J School District at mazze_s@4j.lane.edu

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