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Cornwall Ontario – Twenty-two workplaces and 145 individuals took part in the 2016 Cornwall & Area Active Transportation Challenge, helping to raise awareness about changing our transportation behaviours.
The event, which is in its third year locally, is part of the national Commuter Challenge held annually during Environment Week. All told, the participants combined to log 834 sustainable trips during the week-long event, which ran from May 31st to June 6th and coincided with the national Commuter Challenge event.
Individual registration decreased slightly from 2015, however there was a 25% increase in workplace team registrations and Cornwall once again succeeded in maintaining its first place position nationally compared to other communities of its size. This year’s Challenge featured a moonlight bike ride along the recreational path, organized by challenge partners the Cornwall Outdoor Club de Plein Air. Donning bright colours and lights, the 30-plus participants of all ages cycled from Lamoureux Park to Archie’s and back, enjoying an ice cream break half way.
“The Challenge and its events are about raising awareness about transportation behaviours and helping people to change their behaviours. We’re excited to see that participants this year – although fewer in numbers – actually took more trips on average than in previous years,” said Chantal Lalonde, Health Promotion Specialist with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and Challenge organizer. In fact, participants logged an average of 5.9 active or sustainable trips (compared to 4.5 trips in 2015).
The most popular modes of active and sustainable transportation remain walking, carpooling, and cycling. All told, in seven days participants tracked 17,323 kilometres; saved 1,135 litres of fuel; burned 140,415 calories; and avoided 2,305 kilograms of greenhouse gases.
Event officials awarded prizes to participants and workplaces on Thursday. The Top Workplace Team in each category received a plaque (donated by the Kinsmen of Cornwall) and twelve Workplace Teams received honourable mentions for their participation in this year’s event. Workplace Team awards were handed out to Total Cyclery and Sport (small workplace); Seaway Valley Community Health Centre (medium workplace); and the Children’s Aid Society of SDG (large workplace).
In addition, over 20 prizes were awarded at random to participants who managed to log a minimum of three active or sustainable commutes. Prizes included gift certificates from Play it Again Sports, Mark’s, Lindale’s Shoes, and Quest PTS, as well as two 3-month Family Swim Passes at the Aquatic Centre, Transit Goodies and City of Cornwall Jackets.
The Active Transportation Challenge is hosted by the Transition Cornwall+ Active Transportation Group in partnership with a team of representatives from local organizations and volunteers. The Challenge rewards participants for using active and sustainable modes of transportation such as walking, cycling, rollerblading, carpooling or using public transit.
The City of Cornwall is a proud partner of the Active Transportation Challenge.
For more information, join the Active Transportation Group’s Facebook page.