County-Wide Active Transportation System

CWATS Celebration held in Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Children and adults alike are being urged to limit their screen time and get some exercise and one of the ways to do that was celebrated recently.

The County-Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS) held its fifth annual celebration in Amherstburg with students from Amherstburg Public School joining town and county representatives in walking through Toddy Jones Park and Fort Malden National Historic Site.

Jane Mustac, manager of transportation planning and development with the County of Essex, noted one of the partners is the Healthy Kids Community Challenge and that the CWATS Celebration falls in line with the current goal to “power off and play.”

The aim is to have people “rediscover bikes and the outdoors and limit their screen time.”

Const. Steve Owen of the Amherstburg Police Service conducts a safety demonstration with Amherstburg Public School students during the recent CWATS celebration in Toddy Jones Park.

There has been a lot to celebrate over the past five years, she believed. Some of the recent initiatives that have been undertaken in Amherstburg have included trails and bike paths on Meloche Road and Texas Road and paved shoulders on County Road 18 from Meloche Road to Howard Ave.

The County Road 18 will eventually see paved shoulders all the way to Walker Road, said Mustac.

“This is stop six,” Mustac added, as CWATS presentations were also held in Tecumseh, Kingsville, Leamington, Essex, LaSalle and Lakeshore.

Other partners included ERCA, Bike Windsor-Essex, Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, all local municipalities, Amherstburg police, Ambassador Bicycles and Communities in Motion.

“Everyone is here for the same mandate,” said Mustac.

People in attendance in Amherstburg also learned how to maintain their bicycles and how to safely ride them with healthy snacks being served at the walk’s conclusion.

Second annual CWATS celebration highlights connecting communities, staying active

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The County-Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS) was celebrated around Essex County last week with Amherstburg being the last stop on the tour.

The Amherstburg stop was, however, reportedly the largest.

The CWATS Celebration came to Toddy Jones Park and Fort Malden National Historic Site last Friday afternoon with six classes from Amherstburg Public School joining in. Cathy Copot-Nepszy, health promotion specialist with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), said the “community celebration” wasn’t just about infrastructure but also about connecting communities and staying active.

More trails and bike paths are built every year, said Copot-Nepszy, and each community within Essex County celebrates staying active and staying in shape. The county is also collecting data to see if the new infrastructure is changing behaviour and getting more people out and about.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and members of town staff lead Amherstburg Public School students through Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada last Friday afternoon. It was the second annual County-Wide Active Transportation System celebration with Amherstburg being one of the seven Essex County municipalities where celebrations were held.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and members of town staff lead Amherstburg Public School students through Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada last Friday afternoon. It was the second annual County-Wide Active Transportation System celebration with Amherstburg being one of the seven Essex County municipalities where celebrations were held.

Jane Mustac, manager of transportation planning for the county, said partnerships with each community allow the CWATS network to grow. She touted the benefits of staying active, not just from a health perspective but from an economic perspective as well.

“Cycling is big for tourism,” she said.

Not only is the county trying to create a network across the region, they would like to see it go internationally as well. Mustac outlined efforts being made to put bicycle lanes on the new Gordie Howe International Bridge, when it is constructed.

Const. Steve Owen, the community services officer with Amherstburg police, told the students that it is important to be active but it is also important to be safe.

“You’re smaller and quieter than the cars,” said Owen. “Stay safe.”

Const. Sean Gazdig also joined Owen in riding with the CWATS Celebration participants.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale were also on hand with DiCarlo pointing out such CWATS accomplishments as a paved shoulder on County Road 20. He said the municipalities, the county, ERCA and the WECHU all team up to help people stay active and healthy.

“This event reinforces the town’s commitment to the CWATS charter and the CWATS master plan,” the mayor stated.