Helping islanders reduce greenhouse gas emissions, one of the lowest scoring indicators in Victoria’s Vital Signs® in a previous report, a recent grant encourages hundreds of residents to leave their cars at home and make a safe route to school or shopping.
The volunteer organization, Island Pathways, recently received a $3,000 grant towards the construction of the planned multi-purpose pathway and paved shoulder pedestrian walkways for the public use and to provide safe routes to walk and bike on Salt Spring Island. Illustrating the power of lead donations, the organization took small grants from two community foundations and leveraged additional investments from two corporate Foundations, and private donations of time and finances, to enable a safe alternate route created by sweat equity. They have since added more tourist information boards showing the amenities of Salt Spring Island and safe routes to bike and walk with updated maps and bike racks. Their ongoing bicycle safety program continues with the school visits to provide subsidized helmets and instructions on road safety.
Hats off to the dozens of volunteers who put in many hours seeking partnerships with the CRD, Transportation Commission, and private landowners to enable a safe space for the pathway, as well as construction clearing, pruning and planting, and staffing information booths at various venues and assisting in the helmet program.