In spring 2020, Green Action Centre partnered with the River East Transcona School Division to assist in developing a Bike Rack Project for schools in the division. A unique feature of this project was the direct involvement with students and staff from Murdoch MacKay Collegiate!
This project was made possible with the help from Murdoch’s Welding Instructor, Gerard; who designed the bike racks and figured out the assembly of 8 bike racks each at approximately 6’ long. Working with his students during the winter they built the racks in their shops class, Gerard also had the great idea for making each rack personalized by adding the fun class names atop! This project was a great way to get students involved in creating something that makes a difference for other students and schools in their area. There is something to be said when kids can see a project implemented into their community, instilling a sense of pride for the work they have done. It’s one thing to just create something for yourself, but knowing their work is making a difference and will be used for years to come even after they have graduated is a whole other experience they can continue to look to and remember.
Assistant Superintendent of Schools for RETSD, Jason Drysdale and his team decided on which schools would be getting the racks based on criteria of spreading out the racks across multiple wards, and which schools met various other criteria; for instance if they did not have any bike racks, they were in rough shape, if they just needed more space or if the school had a theft problem were among some of the key considerations. The school division also organized the transportation, delivery, installation and the storage of the bike racks until installation was possible.
This was a great project that many people contributed towards to make happen. Where kids were able to learn new skills, see their work make a difference to their community, and improve the day to day life of many more students who now can rest easy knowing there is more room to lock their bikes and keep them safe throughout the school day! We hope this pilot project can continue into more school divisions in need of cost effective bike racks that will help promote more opportunities for active transportation for their students!
In the spring of 2021the bike racks were installed at 6 different schools; Angus McKay, Donwood, Ecole Regent Park, Bernie Wolfe, Valley Gardens and Polson.
Thanks to everyone who was involved in making this project a success!