THUNDER BAY – LIVING – Children and parents zipped up their coats and threw on their toques for Winter Walk Day on Wednesday. Winter Walk Day is celebrated on the first Wednesday in February at schools throughout Ontario. Sixteen local schools across Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board participated. The local event was organized through EcoSuperior Environmental Programs and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.
“This is the first time Thunder Bay has participated in Winter Walk Day, and we are thrilled that registration is so strong,” said Caroline Cox, Program Coordinator at EcoSuperior. “We are excited to see five new schools participating in walking and wheeling initiatives for the first time, as well as many returning participants from Bike Week and Walk to School Month.”
Participating schools encouraged children to walk to school or organized group walks throughout the day. Three schools celebrated Winter Walk Day by snowshoeing around the school grounds. Some schools will continue additional walking efforts throughout February.
“Thunder Bay Catholic is thrilled to have schools registered in the Winter Walk Day,” said Pino Tassone, Director of Education, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board. “Not only does it provide a fun and healthy way to get to school, but it’s also a great way for students to engage with one another and appreciate their neighbourhood and natural surroundings. We’re proud to work with such great community partners who help create and promote safe and active schools and neighbourhoods.”
For many students, Wednesday was simply another winter walk in the park. Participating schools including École Gron Morgan and Edgewater Park Public Schools and St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Martin Elementary Schools have regular walking groups. New groups, like monthly walks led by the Healthy Schools Club at St. Elizabeth Elementary School, are also springing up.
“Lakehead Public Schools is very pleased to work with EcoSuperior and the Health Unit on Winter Walk Day 2019,” said Maggie Rutter, Education Officer, Lakehead Public Schools. “We look forward to having more schools involved for Winter Walk Day 2020!”
Participants have the chance to win trophies—the Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze laces—depending on the number of students who walk.
More information is available at www.ecosuperior.org/winterwalkday. This project is made possible through financial support from Green Communities Canada and the Government of Ontario.