by Susan Healey
North Grenville will receive a major boost with a new project thanks to the Ontario Active School Travel Fund. The “North Grenville Way” project will increase opportunities for sustainable active school travel. The one year initiative will raise awareness for active school travel, develop a community charter, and conduct a professional assessment of walk zones. This assessment will guide improvements towards a safer journey for students attending the seven schools in North Grenville.
“We are excited to be partnering with the municipality, police, local transportation consortia, schools, schools boards, and students and families on active school travel in North Grenville” said Tawnya Boileau, School Health Coordinator of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. “This project has the potential to increase the number of students and families who choose to walk or wheel to school. Reduced emissions and traffic congestion around schools, improvements to student health and well-being, and community safety are just some of the local benefits we anticipate.”
This $60 000 project is supported by Ontario Active School Travel, a program of Green Communities Canada, made possible through financial support from the Government of Ontario. “In recent decades we have seen a significant decline in walking to school among children across the province,” said Kate Berry, Ontario Active School Travel program director with Green Communities Canada. “This initiative, including Ontario government funding and rich local partnerships, is a great opportunity to reverse this downward trend and rebuild a culture of active school travel. We look forward to collaborating with and supporting our local partners in North Grenville to implement this exciting initiative.”
“We are very pleased that through this initiative, North Grenville’s educational and institutional partners, parents as well as other residents in our community will have the opportunity to identify the conditions under which more kids could potentially walk to school. As a high growth community, ensuring that our kids are safe in doing so is our priority,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford. “We thank the Health Unit and our municipality for their leadership and look forward to the results.”
For more information on Active School Travel and the Ontario Active School Travel Fund, visit: www.ontarioactiveschooltravel.ca.