by Marissa Borgford, Green Action Centre Volunteer

While the weather may still be cold, spring is on its way and with it comes more enjoyable walking and biking conditions. Why not make a commitment to walk or cycle at least part of the way once a week! Spring into spring!

If walking or cycling to school is something new for your family, the warmer days of spring are a great time to start! The spring plays host to Clean Air Day and Earth Day which celebrate being active and travelling to school without polluting the atmosphere. Clean Air Day is on June 8 this year, and is coordinated by Green Action Centre’s Active and Safe Routes to School Program.

Walking or cycling to school that day is a great way to take part in the event and to reduce your environmental footprint (while being active at the same time of course!). Parents can join in the fun too and then carry on by foot, bike, carpool, transit, or other mode and register for the Commuter Challenge! What an excellent way to spend quality time together while enjoying your surroundings.

Earth Day is a nationwide event that takes place on April 22. Involvement on this day can really vary, but active transportation is a great way to celebrate the environment and build in some physical activity.

Being out and active can also stimulate your child’s senses making the walk to school an adventure! Encourage your child to take note of their surroundings throughout their walk or bike ride to school. Do they smell the fresh grass coming up? Can they feel the damp air on their face? Do they notice the new shoots on trees, soon to be leaves? Are there any sounds of spring that are different from the sounds of winter? Even if you don’t accompany your child to school, asking them about what they experienced later will enhance your child’s appreciation of the environment and community as well as be a unique bonding experience. You may be surprised at how your perspective changes from seeing your community and day to day events through your child’s eyes.