Active and Safe Routes to School

What is the Active and Safe Routes to School Program?

The Active and Safe Routes to School program is a collaborative process with the goal of increasing the use of active transportation modes for students travelling to and from school. With its focus on community collaboration to tackle the root cause of transportation challenges, the Active and Safe Routes to School model has been used with success in other parts of Canada and throughout the world.

The process itself involves community-level input from various stakeholders such as District-level staff including planners, engineers, bylaw enforcement, and community stakeholders such as RCMP, Vancouver Coastal Health, other community groups and the individual School Committees which are made up of students, principals, parents, teachers. A facilitator leads the process by convening the committees and facilitating the various steps and actions which lead to a School Travel Plan. The entire process usually takes about one year to complete with a number of overlapping and flexible stages to allow for changes and opportunities as they emerge.

Active and Safe Routes to School in Squamish

The Active and Safe Routes to School program began in the Fall of 2015 when three schools were selected to begin the process: Mamquam Elementary, Garibaldi Highlands Elementary, and L’Ecole Squamish Elementary. In the Fall of 2016, Brackendale Elementary, Valleycliffe Elementary, and Cultural Journeys at Stawamus joined the program. In the Fall of 2020, Skyridge Montessori and Squamish Waldorf School joined the program. A school travel planning facilitator convened committees that worked together to identify and examine transportation challenges, and based on each school’s information and active transportation profile, developed strategies for addressing and overcoming barriers for travelling to school safely.

Best Routes to School maps are now available:

Some of the best routes to school involve trails. Follow these tips to avoid wildlife encounters and stay safe on the trails: 

  • Be alert and aware at all times;
  • Do not wear ear buds while on trails;
  • When possible, walk in groups;
  • Make noise by using your voice i.e. talk, sing, or give a shout when approaching a blind corner, near rivers, or near natural bear food;
  • Go slowly around blind corners. Riding or running quickly and quietly puts you at a higher risk for surprise encounters;
  • Look for signs of recent wildlife activity i.e. claw marks on trees, fresh scat, food caches, day beds, ripped apart logs or overturned boulders.

   If you encounter a bear:

  • Stop and stay calm;
  • Do not run or turn your back;
  • Back away slowly to give the bear some space;
  • Speak calmly;
  • Do not make eye contact.

   If you encounter a coyote or cougar:

  • Stop and stay calm;
  • Do not run or turn your back;
  • Back away slowly to give the animal some space; 
  • Make eye contact and speak in a confident voice;
  • Make yourself appear big by standing tall and raising your arms over your head or opening your jacket;
  • If attacked, fight back.

For more information,please contact the Squamish WildSafeBC office at [email protected] or 604.815.5066 or visit:

Please report all wildlife interactions to the RAPP line: 1.877.952.RAPP (7277) or #7277 on the Telus network.

Squamish Transit

Active Transportation

Shared Mobility