Broadening the STP conversation in Peterborough

Something serendipitous is happening with School Travel Planning (STP) in Peterborough. Led by GreenUP, an environmental charity with a mission to inspire and empower environmentally healthy and sustainable action, the STP program focuses on community engagement activities that support collaborative action, amplify diverse voices, and celebrate positive change. 

“As we began this project, we knew we wanted to choose schools in both the city and county of Peterborough, and we had the opportunity to work with two local school boards,” says Natalie Stephenson, Active School Travel (AST) facilitator at GreenUpTo decrease travel time, we selected adjacent schools from the two boards with shared or neighbouring catchment areas, and this has allowed us to approach STP from a whole neighbourhood perspective.”  

Supplementing Ontario Active School Travel engagement tools with their own, GreenUp quickly learned there was a lot of overlap in the information collected at neighbouring schools, with many shared challenges – and solutions as well! In one case the need for a new pedestrian crossing on a major arterial road emerged as a priority that would benefit three different schools as well as a child care centre. STP is helping bring these stakeholders together to build community-wide support for this measure to improve neighbourhood walkability and accessibility.  

Looking ahead Natalie is excited to see how collaborative action in each of the neighbourhoods will bring positive change for those who live, work, learn and play in the area.  

GreenUp’s Peterborough City & County School Travel Planning project is one of 28 initiatives receiving support from the Ontario Active School Travel Fund to strengthen walking and cycling to school in 50 communities across Ontario.  

GreenUp’s ideas to increase community engagement in active school travel projects:  


  • Conduct pop-ups at large school events and include lots of fun activities. Mapping activities are great, as they engage all ages and can lead to great conversations with the whole school community!  
  • Engage nearby child care centres. Reach out to staff and parents about their travel challenges. These are the future These are the future school families, and by engaging in conversations early, it can help the families form active routines early, too. 
  • Partner with other organizations to plan public events. This spring, GreenUp collaborated with the Peterborough chapter of Jane’s Walks to engage local residents in a conversation about walkability 

Stay In The Loop

Sign me up to receive

Recent Posts

Get Inspired by the New Ideas Lab

The Ontario Active School Travel program is pleased to announce a new online resource to support active school journeys in communities across the country.   Introducing...! is the new home of the Canadian School Travel Planning Toolkit...

Simple Steps to Join the Global Active Travel Movement

International Walk to School Month – also known as IWALK or Walktober – is a global celebration of active school travel that takes place every October.  During IWALK, students are encouraged to walk or wheel to school and to participate in activities that promote...

Tips to Start the School Year Off on the Right Foot

The transition back to school can be an exciting time of year - a chance for a fresh start with new beginnings. Maybe you and your child(ren) are planning to set new academic goals, make new friends, or develop new healthy habits. Whatever your family's school year...

Supporting Active School Travel through Public Policy

Why is it that the majority of Canadian children travel by car to get to school, rather than walking, biking or taking the school bus? There are a myriad of factors at play, including human factors like social attitudes, knowledge and skills, working-parent schedules,...