School Travel Planning Program
"How can we encourage more children and families to use active means of getting to and from school every day?" Finding an answer to this simple but challenging question is at the heart of a joint initiative between the Town of Bridgewater, the Bridgewater Elementary School, and the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax. The formal program is called "School Travel Planning", and it involves bringing toget the school community (students, parents and teachers) with other community stakeholders to learn about what is preventing children and families from walking and cycling to school, and what improvements need to take place for these activities to happen more.
The project started in the Fall of 2010 with an in-depth survey that went to all families in the school, and ultimately resulted in a School Travel Plan that addressed everything from making sure that safety is a priority on and around the school grounds, to teaching important skills to students so that they can safely bike and walk to school, to making childrens' routes to school safer. The plan has resulted in several initiatives, including annual cycling safety training for grade 5 students, walking school buses, walk to school days each month, walking challenges between grades, and education sessions for the school community and school board administrators. In 2014, the School Travel Planning team produced the Bridgewater Elementary School Safe Routes to School Map, which will be handed out to school families each year.
Workplace Travel Planning Program
Similar to the School Travel Planning Program, the Workplace Travel Planning Program is all about encouraging more employees at workplaces to use active and sustainable means of transportation to get to and from work. In 2011, the Town conducted a pilot program with two local businesses: Davis + Henderson on Dufferin St., and Bridgewater Pharmasave on High St. The Active Transportation Committee facilitated in-depth consultations with the managers and staff of these businesses, and helped them to produce Workplace Travel Plans that found practical ways to encourage more employees to walk and cycle to work. Results of the pilot program, including lessons learned, are available for sharing with the community.
#WalkBridgewater Signage Program
Thanks to funding from the Heart & Stroke Foundation's "Walkability Grant" program, the Town of Bridgewater launched an innovative signage program to raise the profile of walking in the downtown core of the community in August of 2015. Intended to be a 3-month pilot program, the signage includes street signs promoting shopping and walking in the neighbourhood on foot, decals promoting the #WalkBridgewater social media campaign, as well as signs that look like sidewalk art complete with playful footsteps and even some hopscotch drawings where you might not expect them! The purpose of the program is to encourage more short-distance walking in the downtown core, and increase the likelyhood that drivers will consider walking instead of driving to their next destination. The Active Transportation Committee is studying the impact of these signs on people's attitudes and behaviour, which is being done by means of surveys with pedestrians.
Active Transportation Leadership Awards
In 2011, the Town of Bridgewater launched the annual AT Leadership Awards. These awards provide recognition to people and organizations who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to use active means of transportation in their lives, or to promote it in the community. Recent award winners:
|Year||Individual Award Winners||Group/Organization Award Winners|
|No nominations received|
|The United Way of Lunenburg County|
|2013||Mary Lowe||Bridgewater O'Regan's Subaru Cycling Team|
Bridgewater Elementary School
Davis and Henderson
Do you know a person or an organization that deserves to be recognized as Active Transportation Leader? If so, use our online submission form, or pdf submit the paper form (77 KB) to nominate them! Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis, with award winners being announced at the Energize Nova Scotia Discovery Fair on October 27, 2017. Nominations for the 2017 award are now being accepted - nominations are due by September 11, 2017.