Students and staff heading to schools in Riverdale from other neighbourhoods could earn a few extra bucks Friday morning, provided they get there without a vehicle.
Thanks to an anonymous donation of $1,000, anyone using active transportation — instead of driving — across the Robert Campbell Bridge into Riverdale from downtown Whitehorse will receive a $5 bill the morning of Nov. 5.
A group of youth from the Yukon Montessori School and CSSC Mercier are heading up the initiative and will be handing out the bills.
“We really wanted to help with the climate crisis,” Asher Johnson, a Grade 7 student at the Yukon Montessori School, said in a Nov. 4 interview.
Both Johnson and Theo Bronson, a Grade 5 student at the same school, pointed out there’s a lot of traffic going across the bridge each day, particularly just before most schools start their day. They both noted their hope this will encourage commuters to walk or bike to school and reduce emissions.
Bronson said he hopes the campaign will grow the number of people already travelling by foot.
“We definitely see people walking,” Bronson said.
In a Nov. 2 press release, it was noted the donor provided the money to show students it’s possible to travel across the bridge without polluting.
“We challenge students who attend schools in Riverdale to join this small stand against climate change to show that Yukon’s youth will join the fight with the rest of the world against climate change,” the statement reads.
It points out that every weekday morning, vehicles make their way across the bridge to get to the six schools in the neighbourhood.
“We can reduce traffic and carbon emissions, and make a much more enjoyable commute, for all,” event organizers said.
The event, which will take place between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., is aimed at celebrating the work underway at the COP26 Summit in Glasgow to address climate change.
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