Active Transportation NS
In This Issue
Winter Walk Day: Any Day in February
Walkabout Walkability Grant
Walking Wednesday Winter Challenge
School Travel Planning Changing How Students Move
Planning Walkable Communities Workshop Success
Making Tracks - Reaching New Heights
Smart Trip Fall Bike & Walk Fest 2014
Women on Wheels (Wow) Weekend 2014
Upcoming Webinars
In the News
Funding sources
Join Our List
Making Tracks Skate Pass Leader Training: Jan. 30 in Pictou

This session is designed to teach youth and adults how to lead the Making Tracks Skate Pass program for children and youth in their communities. Learn more and register here.  

Education on Wheels Report Released
NS Speed Study Says Slow Down
More Magnets Available
New Highway Plan 2015-16
Nova Scotia's plan for highway construction and maintenance is now out for 2015-16. Are there opportunities to further your municipality's active transportation goals? Check out the plan here.
Trail Survey for Women & Girls
Switch Open Street Sundays Toolkit
Petition: Warning Labels on Gas Nozzles
IWALK Success

In October 85 schools / youth groups across the province took part in International Walk to School Month (IWALK). Thanks to all the participating schools and groups. Go to the webpage to view prize winners. We look forward to IWALK 2015! 

AT 101
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Active Transportation NS
January 2015
Winter Walk Day: Any day in February
Schools and youth groups may register and qualify to win a prize. Once registered, be sure to post your event to the Take the Roof Off Winter Facebook page, like the page and tell us how your event went! Be sure to upload photos too.


The event is a partnership of the Ecology Action Centre, Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ and Recreation Nova Scotia's Take the Roof Off Winter campaign, which promotes healthy outdoor winter activity in Nova Scotia. Please help promote this event through your networks.


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2015 Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ Walkability Grant

Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ is offering Walkability grants to help organizations, groups and individuals take steps to increase walking participation. The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 2, 2015. Categories of grants include infrastructure, marketing and advocacy. Those eligible to apply for this funding include organizations, groups of individuals or communities. Those who have previously received a Walkability Grant may reapply. Grants of $500 - $2,000 will be awarded to three to 12 groups this year. A total of $6000 will be distributed. Learn more here.  


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Walking Wednesdays Winter Challenge

Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ is launching a six-week challenge entitled Walking Wednesdays Winter Challenge for workplaces. To participate, a minimum of three employees from your worksite will commit to walk together (for at least 10 minutes) every Wednesday from mid-January to the end of February. There will be weekly draws in addition to a grand prize draw for a healthy lunch for your walking team. Here is how it works: A Walkabout at Work leader, or future Walkabout at Work leader, registers their workplace and participant names by e-mail to by January 19. Space is limited so be sure to register early. 


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School Travel Planning Changing How Students Move
Average of 8% increase in AT 


New data collected by our School Travel Planning (STP) schools shows positive results from their active travel programs. The STP schools who offered comparative data (baseline to 2014) showed an average increase of 8% in active travel use! This is great news, showing the positive effects of STP in Nova Scotia. We were pleased to work with schools on some new projects, such as the use of crosswalk flags; Shatford Memorial piloted this project in Fall 2014. As well, we continue to advocate for our schools to have safe, walkable neighbourhoods. We're working with community groups to push for positive school siting, maintaining our crossing guards along walking routes and supporting programs like Walking School Buses.


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Planning Walkable Communities Workshop Success
The Planning Walkable Communities Workshop was held in Halifax on December 5, 2014 for 24 people from across the province. They were planners and engineers along with folks from health, physical activity and safety sectors.


This workshop, targeted mainly at planners, was about making our communities more walkable for everyone, from children to seniors. It addressed the state of walkability in NS and how to improve walkability in the areas of planning and infrastructure. It included classroom time and a walk audit as well as group work and discussions.


This event was a partnership of the Ecology Action Centre, Heart&Stroke Walkabout™, Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, Licensed Professional Planners Association of Nova Scotia and Dalhousie Cities & Environment Unit. Learn more about the workshop here. 


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Making Tracks - Reaching New Heights

Since April, 2014, 1731 participants, mostly youth and children have taken a Making Tracks program, of which, 104 adults and older youth have become program Leaders.  We have offered many training programs to new partners.  330 Girl Guides, Pathfinders, and Sparks received Walking Wafety programming.  374 children and youth received Skate Pass programming through HRM recreation programs.  Many IWK staff and Dalhousie University College of Sustainability students became Leaders in our cycling program.  Cape Breton Family Place Resource Centre staff became Leaders in our Walking Safety program.


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Smart Trip Fall Bike and Walk Fest 2014

The Fall Bike and Walk Fest organized by SmartTrip Halifax last September in West End Halifax was a fun filled event for the entire family. The event offered people of all ages and abilities the chance to Try-a-Bike, to try out Nordic Walking, BMX biking, bike repair and maintenance, do some craft or bike art project, as well as learn about the recently approved Active Transportation Priorities Plan and the new bike routes that are being proposed in the West End.


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Women on Wheels (WoW) Weekend 2014

By Lynne Pascoe


The weekend of May 2-4, 2014 saw eighteen women of varying levels of cycling experience gather at the Deanery Project on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore for the Women on Wheels (WoW) Weekend.

There were workshops on bike mechanics (Jenna Molinaar), Can Bike (Sandra Bennett), discussions on touring (Lynne Pascoe), 52 Week Bike Challenge (Shelley Porter), an update on the Blue Route (Susanna Fuller), and of course the WoW program (Shelley Johnson), and amazing local vegetarian food provided by Anke Kungl of Conscious Catering.

The energy in the room was palpable and along with learning new skills there was amazing sharing of ideas about getting more women involved in cycling. Attendees came from HRM, CBRM, Digby, Yarmouth, and Ingonish and they plan to start cycling groups in their own communities when they return home. The goals set by the attendees are to keep it simple, start small, encourage women to gain confidence through cycling, and through them encourage their children to learn how to ride their bikes safely.

All we can say is WOW! What a great week-end!


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Upcoming Webinars

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  • Hike NS Winter Guided Snowshoe Hike Series 2015: Jan. 11-Mar. 14
  • Community Transit NS, Community Roundtable, Antigonish NS: Jan. 15
  • Velo Cape Breton Annual January Potluck, Sydney: Jan. 17
  • Making Tracks Skate Pass Leader Training Session, Pictou: Jan. 30

    Winter Walk Day: Any day in February
  • Winter Bike to Work Day: Feb. 13
  • Jason Roberts Public Lecture from the Better Blocks Project, Halifax: Feb. 18
  • Save the Date: NS Hiking Summit in Pictou County: Apr. 24-26
  • Nova Scotia Walk Day: May 13

  • Nova Scotia Bike Week: Jun. 5-14

  • Save the Date: NS Bicycle Summit in the Annapolis Valley: May 22-24

  • HeartLand Bicycle Tour dates for 2015 in Nova Scotia: July 4-10  

Click here for a list of more events.  


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In the News
  • Crosswalk patrol unit urged for Halifax read 
  • Halifax intersection 'absolutely not safe:' neighbour draws attention to poor signage, lighting read 
  • Crosswalk safety flags set up at west-end Halifax intersection read 
  • Chain of Lakes Trail re-opens read 
  • Sydney River bridge set to open by month's end read 
  • Debert residents offer thumbs down to pricey Plains Road sidewalk read 
  • Healthy trail mix bridges Valley read 
  • Port Hawkesbury looking to further develop active transportation trail system read 
  • Funding Supports Design Study for Pedestrian Overpass read 
  • Hantsport on board for active transportation plan read

NS Featured Resources   

  • How Do You Get Around? video from the Colchester region view
  • HRM new Bicycle Safety brochure read 
  • For the latest on Bicycle NS and the Blue Route - check out the latest BNS newsletter here
  • Using AT to Bring Rural and Urban Together from Thrive read
  • Mapability read 

Other Resources

  • Happiness in Motion: Emotions, Well-Being, and Active School Travel read 
  • Climate Change: Implications for Transport document (an IPCC briefing, July 2014) read 
  • Transportation in Canada: Transforming the Fabric of our Land (Including 'Sustainable Transportation: New Kid On The Block' chapter by Todd Litman) read
  • Does Density Matter? The role of density in creating walkable neighbourhoods read

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Funding Sources

  • Doctors Nova Scotia Strive Award funding application deadline extended: Jan. 23
  • 2015 Heart&Stroke Walkabout™ Walkability Grant deadline: March 2

  • The Canadian Parking Foundation research grant deadline: Apr. 1 and Sept. 1
  • Trans Canada Trail Funding read

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Active Transportation NS is an e-newsletter produced by the Ecology Action Centre with support from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. Its aim is to support the active transportation (AT) movement in Nova Scotia and share local walking and cycling news, events and resources with interested folks all over the province. Active transportation is walking, cycling, skateboarding, in-line skating and other active, non-motorized forms of transportation. Learn more about our AT projects here.