TUMBLER RIDGE, B.C. – Tumbler Ridge Elementary and Secondary schools are receiving provincial funding to help encourage students to use active transportation when travelling between home and school.

In its second year, the Active School Travel Pilot Program is administered by BC Healthy Communities Society to increase the number of students using active transportation, such as walking or biking.

Up to $10,000 was made available to the 12 new participating schools in BC through the program, the province announced Thursday. The Tumbler Ridge schools are the first from the Peace region to receive funding through the pilot program.

An additional $280,000 investment through the program this year allowed for more schools to participate in the program. The province initially invested $400,000 into the program and kicked off with 11 participating schools in January 2021.

“Regular physical activity and positive mental well-being are essential parts of a healthy lifestyle, especially for children. I’m proud to see our government investing in innovative programs like the new Active School Travel Pilot Program. This program will support students to have healthy and active lives while safely getting to school,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education.

The province says the funding will help municipalities, school districts, and parents plan walking and cycling improvements that meet specific needs in the neighbourhood.

These improvements include encouragement events and incentives, assessments, skill-building and safety education, expansion of slow street projects to reduce traffic volume around schools, shared bikes, scooters and skateboards for students, and amenities and infrastructure improvements.