Active School Travel

About Active School Travel

Active School Travel is a national initiative that promotes the use of human-powered, non-motorized transportation modes for trips to, during, and from school. This type of travel can include walking, cycling, scootering, skateboarding, using a wheelchair, etc., and has the following benefits:

Healthier Students

  • Active school travel helps to meet the goal for school-aged children of at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
  • Physical activity also supports healthy brain development, which can lead to improved learning and academic outcomes.
  • Mental health benefits include reduced stress, depression and anxiety, and increased happiness.
  • Active School Travel also helps to build lifelong habits of independent and active mobility.

Fewer Emissions & Less Air Pollution

  • Reducing the number of children being driven to school improves air quality and reduces associated risks of lung and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Air pollution can also impact cognitive development: children are particularly vulnerable, experiencing negative impacts at lower levels of exposure than adults. 

Safer School Zones, Healthier Communities

  • Reducing traffic volumes at bell times creates safer school zones for all students, and improving walking and cycling routes to school enhances the safety, connectivity and quality of life for the community as a whole.

Source: Benefits of Active School Travel - Ontario Active School Travel
See Also: MyHealth Alberta: Getting To and From School Safely

Active School Travel in Parkland School Division

In collaboration with community partners, Parkland School Division has developed and/or promoted the following Active School Travel initiatives:

  • Explore Your 2.4 - Teachers, students and their families are encouraged to learn more about the area within walking distance of their school by exploring it through active travel.
  • Trail Tales - Active travellers can read pages from picture books posted along a trail, travelling farther down a path to find out what happens next in the story.
  • Walk & Roll - As a means of encouraging active travel and advocating for a sidewalk between the school and community centre, Tomahawk School students spent an Earth Day afternoon walking and biking through their community.
  • Wheeling for Wellness - Participants practice their cycling skills, then bike through their community, visiting local places of interest. These free cycling clinics not only teach students about basic bicycling safety, maintenance and skills, but also illustrate the strong link between physical activity and mental health.

To learn more about these initiatives and the community partners who help bring them to life, please visit our Wellness Initiative page.