Victoria, BC – From October 7–11, students from 40 schools in the capital region will be celebrating their active travel trips to and from school during the CRD’s third annual Walk and Wheel to School Week.
“This year, there are almost twice as many schools participating in the program than in 2017, our inaugural year,” says Larisa Hutcheson, General Manager, Parks & Environmental Services at the CRD. “We know that young people play an important role in reducing our carbon footprint and we hope that by promoting people-powered active travel when school begins in the fall, they will be encouraged to adopt this environmentally friendly and healthy practice for the long term.”
The program is designed to encourage sustained behaviour change and promote active travel throughout the school year. According to the CRD’s most recent Origin Destination Study, almost half of all students in the region are driven to school, with many of the distances reported to be less than three kilometres, some even less than 500 metres.
Participating schools represent more than 12,900 students with all mobility ranges and abilities, who will be finding active ways to get to school, including (but not only) walking and cycling.
“Active travel not only promotes important physical activity, it also boosts students’ mental wellbeing, school performance and encourages independence,” says Dr. Dee Hoyano, Medical Health Officer with Island Health. “I encourage families to walk, bike or take transit to school during Walk and Wheel to School Week.”
Each school has received a toolkit to help students track their trips, raise awareness about safety and learn more about the health and environmental benefits of active travel (including prizes for participation), which also reduces traffic congestion and improves safety around schools. Additionally, 14 schools applied for support to expand their education and encouragement activities around the event.
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.
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:
Nicki Fellinger, Communications Supervisor
CRD Environmental Services