An Taisce walk to school day a major success

Some of the happy walkers pictured at Menlo yesterday.

Some of the happy walkers pictured at Menlo yesterday.

Fifty Galway schools are taking part in a green schools’ travel initiative aimed at encouraging students, teachers and parents to walk, cycle, park ‘n’ stride, car-pool and use public transport instead of using private cars on the school run.

The An Taisce project entitled WOW (Walk on Wednesday ) was launched yesterday at three local “green schools” - Scoil Bhride, Menlo, Scoil Sheamais Naofa, Bearna, and Galway Educate Together, Newcastle.

They decided they would be “fools not to walk to school”, on April Fool’s Day, according to An Taisce, the heritage and environment protection body.

As part of the WOW days walking buses set off from designated park and stride locations with parental volunteers guiding children along roads, footpaths and even a boreen to get to schools safely.

Tiarnan McCusker, green schools travel education officer Galway city, says it was a privilege to see so many people taking part in the event.

“The children loved it, the parents loved it and the benefits of this cannot be overstated. Not only are we trying to promote a new walking culture for the children and hence, healthier lifestyles, but we can play an active part in reducing congestion in Galway and help in the fight against climate change by reducing our CO2 emissions. Well done to everyone who took part in the ‘April Fool’s Walk to School Day’ you are an absolute credit to your schools!”

After the initial two year pilot project in Dublin the Department of Transport has pledged up to €2 million yearly until 2012 for the An Taisce travel initiative.

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