Student travel initiative has many benefits

Getting kids more active and making schools safer all part of the program

When the next school year starts so will a new-to-the-Valley Active Student Travel initiative.

Designed to increase and sustain active travel to and from school, the initiative was suggested by Trustee Sheila McDonnell, transportation committee chair, at the January Comox Valley Board of Education meeting.

Trustees voted in favour of contributing a one-time grant of $10,000 from the transportation budget, which was subject to other Valley organizations chipping in $20,000 by June 30.

During last week’s Board of Education meeting, McDonnell noted other organizations had put forward $16,000 so far, making total finances committed to the project $26,000 rather than $30,000.

Her briefing note pointed out the vast majority of the initiative costs relate to salary and benefits from hiring an active student travel co-ordinator. She suggested still going ahead with the initiative, but structuring it to cost $26,000 rather than $30,000.

The initiative will be reviewed to determine its success before any other grants from the school district are committed to it.

The Comox Valley Cycling Task Force committed $6,000 and City of Courtenay committed $5,000 this year and next year. Though the Town of Comox did not commit funds, as the matter came up too late in its budget process, it applied for a $5,000 grant from Healthy Families BC, which it is still waiting to hear back about.

McDonnell pointed out the Village of Cumberland is interested in the initiative as well and has asked for a presentation at about it at a council meeting.

The co-ordinator, who is expected to be hired by August, will work with schools and community stakeholders to identify barriers to active transportation and develop a written action plan for each participating school, as well as Best Routes to School map brochures, among other things.

McDonnell later told the Record the co-ordinator will likely work with four or five schools during the first year.

“There’s a couple schools that have real congestion issues that we want to work on, and then there’s a couple of schools that are so interested already, and showing all the signs of wanting to move forward,” she said, noting Cumberland, École Puntledge Park, Brooklyn and École Robb Road elementary schools will likely be participant schools, but plans aren’t finalized yet.

School district goals of the initiative are:

•increased student activity linked to student success;

•reduced costs for parking lots, supervision time;

•increased safety at schools, better air quality;

•school community capacity building, leading to more parent engagement;

•educational opportunities

McDonnell notes volunteer groups already do programs such as walking school buses and there’s bike rodeos at various schools thanks to the Cycling Task Force, but having a co-ordinator will  help tie things together.

“When you have a little co-ordination to help the volunteer effort it just makes such a huge difference,” said McDonnell. “I’m quite excited about it.”

 

For more information visit the Active Travel to School Comox Valley Facebook page.

 

 

Just Posted

From left, Karen Cummins, Suzanne Gravelle and Ted Grainger pose with the winner of this year’s Comox Valley Nature Tree of the Year contest - a western yew, located in the Cumberland Community Forest. Photo by Dianne Grainger.
Comox Valley’s ‘Tree of the Year’ unveiled

By Kerri Scott Special to The Record For the first time in… Continue reading

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
Comox Valley shellfish operator fined $10,000 for violations

Fisheries Act charges against three others in same case were stayed

The design of a proposed roundabout at the intersection of Rodello Street and Comox Avenue. Photo submitted
Town taking a second look at Comox Avenue roundabout

The idea first came to fruition in late 2014 for the intersection of Rodello Street and Comox Avenue

Noella Rousseau of CVCDA’s Project Inclusion Program checks out the garlic bed at the Free To Grow Community Garden. Photo supplied.
Comox Valley Child Development Association program unveils new community garden

There’s a new community garden in the Comox Valley, which is doubling… Continue reading

The industrial lands project for Cumberland’s Bevan Road has taken another step forward. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Bevan Road water issues addressed for Cumberland council

Council approves development for new yogurt facility’s buildings

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read