HALIFAX – The province is giving Nova Scotians more opportunities to walk, run, bike and rollerblade in their communities.
The Ecology Action Centre is receiving a $55,000 grant from the province to continue its work with communities, municipalities and groups that want to encourage people to use active transportation, which is any travel that is human powered and non-motorized.
"Active transportation is healthy for people and for the planet," said Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald, on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson. "With this grant, we're helping ensure that Nova Scotians have safe opportunities to walk, run, bike, rollerblade and skateboard for short trips in their communities, rather than driving."
The Ecology Action Centre has received funding in the past to develop an Active Transportation 101 guide, which outlines how to develop a community active transportation plan. The centre also gave workshops to 200 people in 13 communities around the province last year, providing the skills, knowledge and tools to create a plan.
The new grant will allow the Ecology Action Centre to help these communities further develop their plans, and continue to offer the workshop in new communities.
"The Ecology Action Centre is excited and grateful for funding from the Department of Health and Wellness to continue our active transportation work," said Janet Barlow, the centre's active transportation co-ordinator. "There is a hunger to move forward on walking and cycling in communities across the province. This builds on our work last year and we look forward to helping municipalities take their planning for walking and cycling to the next level."
Communities in the West Hants area participated in a workshop and are now working on an active transportation plan.
"Ecology Action Centre's workshop and manual have been the catalysts for action in West Hants to promote active transportation in our rural communities. They've been a great help in guiding our work," said Kathy Aldous, active living co-ordinator for the Municipality of the District of West Hants. "We are very pleased that there will be continued funding for the centre's active transportation program so that their expertise and support remain available to communities around the province."
The Ecology Action Centre's work on active transportation supports Thrive!, the province's plan for a healthier Nova Scotia. More information on Thrive! is available at http://thrive.novascotia.ca. The centre's work also supports the provincial sustainable transportation strategy, which is available at http://novascotia.ca/sustainabletransportation.