Man walking outside in winter with his bike.

Walk the Talk: Count Birds, Talk Bikes and Advocate for a Safer Summit Avenue

Editor’s note: Walk the Talk is’s carefully curated, highly partisan collection of both serious and fun-loving events, community meetings and opportunities for engagement that we think will interest our readers. Email your ideas to Hawken Habig, one of our daily editors, at

St. Paul Christmas Bird Count – Saturday, December 17

Dozens of people turn out for the annual Christmas Bird Count. Photo courtesy of the Saint Paul Audubon Society.

If you like bundling up and walking in nature, consider doing it with birdwatching experts who can teach you a thing or two at this Saint Paul Audubon Society event. Volunteer birders spend a full or half day conducting a winter bird census known as the Christmas Bird Count. The National Audubon Society administers the program, which conservationists started in 1900 as a counterpoint to a different Christmas Day tradition in which hunters and gun enthusiasts tried to shoot as many birds as possible. The Saint Paul Audubon chapter’s count is about 75 years old, meaning volunteer birders have created decades’ worth of statistical information on the number and diversity of birds in our community. “It’s true citizen science in action!” says co-organizer Kiki Sonnen. To join one of 15 different teams, email Gregg Severson at or Sonnen at

Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition Monthly Meeting – Wednesday, December 21, 7 p.m.

The Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition, a community of local cyclists focused on bike and transportation issues, hosts monthly meetings; the next will be Wednesday, December 21, 7 p.m., at the Knox International Center at 1536 W. Minnehaha Ave. (tip: take the Ashbury Street entrance). News, recent events and other miscellaneous topics of interest will be discussed during this month’s meeting. Snacks will also be provided! This is a good opportunity to meet other cyclists in St. Paul and learn more about the coalition.

Express Support for NLX – Ongoing

After decades of struggle, the Northern Lights Express (NLX) may be close to implementation as a new, more transit-friendly legislature considers providing the necessary funding for the rail line. NLX is a potential passenger rail line that would run between Minneapolis and Duluth, with intermediate stops in Coon Rapids, Cambridge, Hinckley and Superior, Wisconsin. Consider reaching out to your state senator and house representative to express your support for (or complaints about) the project. The Northern Lights Express Alliance, a group dedicated to supporting the project, provides a helpful guide on how to do so.

Advocate for a Safer Summit – Through the Spring

A graphic, which contains depictions of cyclists, reads: "Let's build a Safer Summit;"
Safer Summit poster design

The public comment period for the first draft of the Summit Avenue Master Plan has concluded, but a final decision for the corridor is still at least a few months away. Supporters can engage with the project by picking up a yard sign or contacting their city representatives. The Safer Summit campaign seeks to aid clear and insightful discussions on the project, and is offering yard signs featuring the creative design above. The signs cost $6 each to manufacture; donations are appreciated but not required. Get in touch here to receive one! D Line Ride – Saturday, December 17, 1 p.m.

In case you missed it, will be hosting a group ride on Metro Transit’s new D Line this Saturday! The D Line runs from Brooklyn Center through north and south Minneapolis along Chicago and Fremont/Emerson Avenues, terminating at the Mall of America. The group will meet at Thirsty Whale Bakery near the Fremont and 42nd Avenue station at 1 p.m. and hop on the D Line to Chicago and 48th. is also looking to recruit two volunteer copy editors to review and polish articles before publication. Learn more here!

Photo at top courtesy of Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash

About Hawken Habig

Hawken is a student of Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a copy editor at He also composes's bi-weekly event listing "Walk the Talk;" email any ideas for events or opportunities to!