Yennadon students will be encouraged to walk and bike, to and from school, through new provincial pilot program. (City of Maple Ridge/Special to The News)

Yennadon students will be encouraged to walk and bike, to and from school, through new provincial pilot program. (City of Maple Ridge/Special to The News)

Pilot project at Maple Ridge school to encourage students to bike, walk

Yennadon elementary is one of 12 schools across the province participating in pilot project

Students at Yennadon elementary will be getting more exercise thanks to a pilot project that will have them walking and biking to school more often.

Yennadon elementary is one of 12 schools across the province that will be participating in the Active School Travel pilot project.

The project, in its second year, is geared to encourage more students to take an active mode of transportation to and from school by helping municipalities, school districts, and parents work together to plan walking and cycling improvements that meet the specific needs of students in the neighbourhood.

Improvements will include: holding regular encouragement events and incentives to increase regular walking and biking to school; mapping the best route for students to get to school; offering skill-building and safety education for students and parents; expanding slow street projects to reduce traffic volume around schools; offering shared bikes, scooters, and skateboards for students; and improving infrastructure like bike racks and signage.

Participating schools can request up to $10,000 through the program to implement their projects, and will receive access to other capacity-building tools and resources.

The outcomes from both years of the program will inform future initiatives to increase walking and cycling to school for students and their families.

“There is something so joyful about seeing a group of kids on their way to school, getting some fresh air,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

“Active transportation initiatives make our communities healthier, cleaner, and more fun for everyone,” noted the MLA.

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The Province is investing $280,000 to expand the program this year. An initial investment of $400,000 was made in February 2021 to develop the program that saw the participation of 11 schools that year.

The Active School Travel Pilot Program supports goals set out in the Province’s CleanBC Roadmap, as well as Move. Commute. Connect. – B.C.’s strategy for cleaner, more active transportation.

“Parents, kids, and educators will all benefit from this new and exciting commute at Yennadon Elementary. Our government’s CleanBC Roadmap is preparing British Columbians for the future by investing in infrastructure that will make our lives better right now,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission.

To learn more about the Active School Travel Pilot Program go to bchealthycommunities.ca/active-school-travel/ and also news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022TRAN0005-000045.


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