Victoria, BC— Many students will be getting to and from school next week by foot or wheel in celebration of the CRD’s second annual Walk and Wheel to School Week, running October 1—5 in 33 schools across the capital region.
“Whether it’s reducing our community’s greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality or prioritizing wellbeing in our youth, the benefits of people-powered active travel are wide-reaching,” says Larisa Hutcheson, General Manager, Parks and Environmental Services at the CRD. “We’re coordinating this program early in the school year to start conversations about the health and environmental benefits related to active travel that will hopefully continue throughout the whole year.”
According to data in the CRD’s Origin Destination Household Travel survey, almost half of all elementary and secondary school students are driven to school. A further study showed that the majority of these trips are less than three kilometres in length.
Active ‘people-powered’ travel options include walking, biking, using public transit, scootering or skateboarding all or part way to school.
“Active travel is a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to improve their health,” says Dr. Murray Fyfe, Medical Health Officer with Island Health. “Walking or wheeling to and from school improves students’ self-confidence and school performance and it also reduces stress.”
Since registration opened this spring, 33 schools have registered for the CRD’s Walk and Wheel to School program this year—meaning up to 10,250 students will be walking, cycling, scootering or skateboarding to school next week. Each school has received a toolkit to help students track their trips and learn more about the health and environmental benefits of active travel (including prizes for participation).
Walk and Wheel to School Week is hosted annually by the CRD with support from both Island Health and the CRD’s Traffic and Safety Commission. Launched in 2017, the program’s inaugural year had 22 schools participate with an average of 45% of all commutes to and from school completed by active transportation during the course of the event.
For more information, visit www.crd.bc.ca/walkwheel.
Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Melanie Tromp Hoover, Communications Supervisor
CRD Environmental Services