Starting off on the right foot is important to ensure long-term strategic success. The Town of Blind River is taking several steps to offer continued support for active school travel using insights derived from Green Communities Canada’s (GCC) School Travel Planning model.
The Town has sourced regional support to implement infrastructure improvements — including a staff parking lot, fencing and grounds improvements at St. Mary’s Catholic School — that were identified during a walkabout of local schools in 2019 as a part of OAST Fund support. The improvements, funded by the Huron Superior Catholic District School Board, have helped reduce traffic congestion around the school, making the school zone safer and more accessible.
“The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board and St. Mary’s Catholic School are pleased to have been able to collaborate with the Town of Blind River on this project, which supports GCC’s goals of ensuring spaces are inviting and travel remains active,” says Steve Brown, Manager of Plant Services at the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board.
Karen Bittner, Director of Community Services and Facilities for the Town of Blind River, vouches that support from the Ontario Active School Travel program has been crucial in providing direction to the Town’s planning authorities as they bring walking/cycling trails up to standards expected by parents and students. She says these infrastructure changes are helping create a culture of active transportation which makes it easier to promote walking and cycling as convenient and healthy options for parents and students.