By Brodie Kinnear, School Active Transportation Facilitator at EnviroCentre
Winter Walk Day is a province-wide event to celebrate walking to school in winter weather. The official Winter Walk Day is on February 5, but schools can participate any day throughout February.
Interested in running a Winter Walk Day at your school? Want to know how to get yourself and your child ready to join in? We’ve collected our Top Tips below to help schools run awesome events and to help parents and children make the most of their Winter Walk Day!
1. Invite Phyz, the physically active beaver!
Ask your School Health Nurse to book Phyz (the Ottawa Public Health mascot) to make an appearance at your event. This is a simple way to bring a celebratory spirit to your Winter Walk Day!
2. Get active in real life, and on social media!
Post about your Winter Walk Day event leading up to the date to build excitement and encourage participation! Share pictures and updates on twitter using the hashtags #ottwalk2school and #ottmarcheàlécole
3. Create an award!
Award a prize to the class with the highest participation! Use a simple ‘Hands Up’ Survey to track how many students arrive by each mode (car, school bus/van, walking/wheeling) on the day of your event. Some award ideas are to create a Golden Shoe Trophy or to allow the winning class extra recess time!
1. Give it a try!
Use the celebration of Winter Walk Day as a way to try something new! If you normally drive, try parking a little further away and walking the last few blocks to the school. If you normally walk part of the way, try walking all the way! And if you’re already walking to and from school, look out others you may not normally see and say a friendly hello!
2. Stay warm while walking!
Make sure to dress for the weather! Dress in layers and wear a hat, mittens, and a neck warmer. Pack extra pairs of dry mittens and socks for back-up!
3. Start a Walking Group to keep it going!
Find others who live in your area or are on your route to school that might want to join you in walking to and from school on Winter Walk Day and beyond! Make a plan, exchange contact information, and support each other in making active transportation your regular routine.
To find out more about what schools across Ottawa are doing for Winter Walk Day and School Active Transportation, check out our newsletter!
EnviroCentre’s mission is to provide people, communities and organizations with practical solutions to lighten their environmental impact in lasting ways.
As part of our commitment to advancing active and sustainable transportation options for Ottawa residents, EnviroCentre is proud to deliver School Travel Planning and Programing to local schools as part of the School Active Transportation Program, on behalf of the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) and the City of Ottawa, and in partnership with Ottawa Public Health.