Two Vancouver Island schools will get more exercise and fresh air, as part of the Active School Travel Pilot Program.
Arden Elementary, SD71 (Courtenay) and Phoenix Middle, SD72 (Campbell River) are among 12 schools across the province taking part this year. The Program is designed to increase the number of students using active transportation, such as walking or biking, in their daily commute between home and school.
The Province’s initial two-year investment of $400,000 supported program development and the participation of 11 schools in January 2021. An additional investment of $280,000 is being made this year.
Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, says the program has a multitude of benefits. “Walking and wheeling to school offers so many benefits to students, from physical and mental health to better educational outcomes. Encouraging youth to choose green transportation options instead of relying on cars also means safer, less congested school zones and cleaner air in our communities.”
The province says schools can request up to $10,000 to implement their projects and get access to tools and resources from BC Healthy Communities Society to help them get rolling.
Schools may use the funds for things like assessing “best-route-to-school mapping,” and infrastructure such as bike racks and signage.
This is a two year pilot project, and the province will use the results to inform future initiatives.
Active School Travel Pilot Program: http://bchealthycommunities.ca/active-school-travel/
Move. Commute. Connect., B.C.’s Active Transportation Strategy: www.gov.bc.ca/active-transportation
CleanBC Roadmap: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/