Just in time for iWALK week October 2012, a wonderful mural project was displayed for the first time. "Very impressed with our budding artists!" reports parent Jennifer at RC Garnett. In turn the PAC executive praise Jen too. "Thank you Jen!!! The banners looked amazing and it filled with "THOUGHTFULNESS AND TOGETHERNESS" of our community!!!! So proud and much appreciate your hard work and dedication to this project!!!"
Jen reports on the details:
We used recycled Township of Langley signs that were donated to the school for this project. We held a Road Safety colouring contest within the school and the 3 lucky winners paired up with other artists and replicated their artwork onto these murals. We whitewashed the signs, then painted them. We’re not sure how long the surfaces will hold up with our BC rains but the idea is only to have them out 1 week at a time so that drivers do not become used to seeing them. These are displayed on 201 street which is the main walking and driving artery to our school.
In the 2010/11 school year the Township of Langley expanded it's own school travel planning resource base to one that utilized provincial and national tools such as surveys and education resources - for the STP Facilitator, school communities and stakeholders. In spring 2012 École Belmont Elementary also received honorarium funds when they undertook Classroom and Family surveys to start their own STP process.
Two schools were part of the national CLASP pilot; North Otter Elementary and RC Garnett Elementary. Their involvement was part of a 120 school pilot across Canada. In Langley, baseline classroom and family surveys, and walkabouts with all stakeholders, took place. This data collection phase helped formulate targeted Action Planning.
At North Otter Elementary, a TOL and school district partnership invested in infrastructure to make the school site safer by reconfigured the pick-up and drop-off area. September 2011 saw the opening of this facility, with clear deliniation for vehicles and walkers. You can see the 'walking figures' on the blacktop below.
Students took part in helping design artwork for the Best Walking Routes and School Site Safety pamphlet that clearly describes where walkers need to be. This art piece below celebrates all the modes that help children travel in this rural catchment.
The two CLASP pilot schools are completely different catchments, one a large rural area, the other urban. In the in-town neighbourhood of RC Garnett the school travel planning consultation complements TOL neighbourhood consultation that includes traffic calming initiatives that will help alternative travel become a larger part of the routine journey to and from school.
School bus travel is a daily routine for children at North Otter Elementary whose catchment as of 2010 combines two distant elementary school communities.
RC Garnett Elementary staff and parents collaborated on holding a June Walk to School Day. Traffic calming in the form of speed humps to combat through traffic speed on the street fronting their school has 'made 100% difference' parents report. A walkable neighbourhood and the combination of cross street safety improvements as featured below, will help foster initiatives to create walking group opportunities to help fit parent schedules.