Active Transportation


The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) is a member-based environmental charity in Nova Scotia. They serve as a leader in school-based active transportation programs in our province.

This organization has been a leader in active school travel for over two decades.


Making Tracks is a program led by the EAC that helps children and youth develop active transportation skills, confidence and safety, while encouraging them to choose active transportation to travel within their communities. Using an educational leader training model, Making Tracks enlists the help of adults and youth in teaching children and youth safety skills in walking and cycling.

Drive to 5

Drive to 5 is a program designating legal and walkable locations within a five minute walk from the school. Using these locations disperses traffic away from the congested school area, creating a safer school commute for all. This program can be structured in various ways to fit specific school circumstances. To our knowledge, there is no organization leading this program in NS, but online tools are available to support schools to self-initiate.

A Walking School Bus is a group of students who regularly walk to school together, often led by adult volunteers. A Walking School Bus provides adult supervision, safety in numbers, physical activity, a great social atmosphere and fun on the way to school! A Cycling School Bus is a variation with bikes. The Ecology Action Centre can assist your group in organizing a Walking School Bus. 

Tools and Resources

Contains everything needed to implement School Travel Planning (STP) in your community. The STP process is guided and supported by an STP Facilitator who brings everyone together, coordinates activities and uses this STP Toolkit to compile a School Travel Plan.

An online tool that facilitates 30 sec online surveys that allow you to track how students travel to and from school. The tool generates a BikeWalkRoll score that allows you to track progress within your school and compare your score with that of schools across the world. This tool was created by Green Action Centre.

This toolkit from BC outlines the benefits of the Drive to 5 program as well as tips for success and templates.

This is a free resource for teachers or after school leaders of children in grades 4, 5 or 6 to promote safe cycling. Each grade contains 10 lesson plans designed for use in a classroom setting regardless of whether students have bicycles readily available or not.

Here is a sample Safe Routes to School Map from Bridgewater Elementary School.

This website has lots of great resources to support active school travel.

Did you know?

Children who walk or bike to school are more physically active. “A meta-analysis that combined studies on walking to/from school and physical activity measured by accelerometry found that elementary school students who walk to school get an additional 17 minutes of daily Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA), which equates to 23% of their total daily physical activity, whereas high school students who walk to school get an extra 14 minutes of daily MVPA, or 36% of their total daily physical activity” (ParticipACTION, 2018).

Additionally, reducing the number of children being driven to school reduces greenhouse gas emissions and particulate air pollution around the school; this improves air quality and reduces associated risks of lung and cardiovascular diseases. Increasing the number of students travelling actively to school also reduces traffic volumes around the school, creating safer school zones.