New pilot project encourages kids to walk, don’t ride to school

File photo courtesy © Can Stock Photo Inc. / jwblinn

When all kids return to in-school learning, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit wants to get them out of their parents’ cars and walking to class.

It received a $60,000 grant from Ontario Active School Travel, a program provided by Green Communities Canada.

The health unit has partnered with a list of agencies and services in the community, including school boards, police, the City of Windsor and the County of Essex, and Bike Windsor-Essex.

At first, the pilot project will only cover students at six elementary schools in the region. In the city, they are King Edward Public School, Talbot Trail Public School, and Ecole elementaire catholique Monseigneur-Jean-Noel. Margaret D. Bennie Public School in Leamington, Holy Names Catholic Elementary School in Essex, and Amherstburg’s Stella Maris Catholic Elementary School are also taking part.

Active school travel is not just walking. Students will also be encouraged to ride their bikes, skateboard, and scooter to class too.

The grant will pay for walkability checks, transportation toolkits, and racks for bikes and scooters.

Eventually, the program could be expanded across the region.