Ross Valley schools find new paths

Manor, Wade Thomas schools find alternative modes of transportation

By Joe Wolfcale, Marinscope Newspapers
September 8, 2010

Two Ross Valley schools captured second-place awards in the Transporation Authority of Marin’s Safe Routes to Schools first annual Green Ways to Schools Challenge by finding alternative modes of transportation.

Nine schools will receive cash awards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by creating green trips to school by students, staff and faculty who walk, bicycle, take the bus or participate in carpools.

Manor Elementary School in Fairfax and Wade Thomas Elementary in San Anselmo tied for second in the Green Ways to Schools Challenge. White Hill Middle School in Fairfax won honorable mention in the program achievement category and Brookside Upper Elementary won first place in the SchoolPool award category.

“We are so honored to win this award,” Loma Verde Principal Eileen Smith said. “It reflects the commitment by staff, parents and students to increase green trips to school.”

Loma Verde won $2,000 for increasing green trips by 15 percent and carpooling by 12 percent, according to a Safe Routes to Schools press release.

Smith really took the issue to heart, bicycling from her home in San Rafael to school three times a week.

Old Mill School in Mill Valley received $1,000 for first place in the program achievement category.

Brookside Upper Elementary was awarded $500 for generating the highest percentage of sign-ups in the new SchoolPool trip matching program.

Green Ways to School is a new campaign of Safe Routes to Schools that launched last January. It is funded through a grant from the Marin Community Foundation’s Climate Change Initiative.

Last year, Safe Routes to Schools reduced annual vehicle miles traveled by 635,000, thus decreasing 270 metric tons of carbon monoxide emissions, according to the press release.

This fall, a $500 award will be given to the school that generates the highest percentage of SchoolPool sign-ups by the middle of October.

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