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Active Transportation Thunder Bay Receives Ontario Trillium Grant


March 25, 2011 – Thunder Bay’s Active Transportation Program celebrated news of a $115,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) today. The funding will enable the launch of Safe Cycling Thunder Bay, a cycling education program aimed at riders of all ages and abilities that will be administered through EcoSuperior Environmental Programs.

Safe Cycling Thunder Bay will be based on the CAN-BIKE Safe Cycling Education Program, a nationally standardized set of cycling proficiency and safety courses delivered by certified local instructors. The three year grant, made in November 2010, will target instructor training and cycling education programs for riders of all ages. Safe Cycling Thunder Bay will offer a variety of cycling education courses that are Transport Canada approved, developed by Canada’s leading cycling educators, and set the bar for quality of education. 

The Honourable Michael Gravelle, along with MPP Bill Mauro and Jason Hughes, Ontario Trillium Foundation presented a plaque to John Stephenson from EcoSuperior’s Board of Directors on behalf of the five collaborative organizations that are bringing the Safe Cycling Program to Thunder Bay.

"This funding will not only help teach safe cycling practices, but brings wonderful training and skills development opportunities for people trained as instructors.  They'll benefit from professional certification and developing their leadership skills, which will help them in their future endeavours.  I'm especially pleased to see that a program and toolkit will be developed so that this program can be shared with smaller communities as well.  This collaboration between Eco-Superior and its local partners is a great example of how our community pulls together to make good things happen, and I'm proud our government supports those efforts through the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Michael Gravelle, MPP (Thunder Bay-Superior North).

“Efforts to encourage physical activity - in this case cycling - in a safe way are a good investment of OTF funds.  The additional benefit of training and certifying local instructors will ensure the success of this investment into the future,” said Bill Mauro, MPP (Thunder Bay - Atikokan).

“Thunder Bay is pleased to be able to provide this program thanks to support from Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Mayor Hobbs. “These courses will greatly contribute to active transportation in our community which supports our strategic goals of being a clean, green, beautiful and proud city along with providing a high quality of life for citizens.”

The Safe Cycling Program is made up of a partnership between City of Thunder Bay, EcoSuperior, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Lakehead Public Schools, Thunder Bay Police, Thunder Bay Cycling Club, and Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club. The project will involve training and certification of local instructors to ensure the continuation of bicycle safety programs in Northwestern Ontario.

"It is encouraging to see our community come together in support of active lifestyles, while increasing the safety of our cyclists,” Ken Ranta, Director of Health Promotion – Thunder Bay District Health Unit. “The safer the streets, the more people will consider cycling as a transportation and recreation option".

EcoSuperior is a not-for-profit organization that delivers programs that encourage and support environmental stewardship in the Lake Superior basin and beyond, for the benefit of present and future generations. Safe cycling courses for children, youth and adult riders will begin as early as this summer. For more information, visit www.ecosuperior.org.

A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. www.trilliumfoundation.org

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Contact: Adam Krupper, Active Transportation Coordinator, City of Thunder Bay – EcoSuperior,
              625-2163