Maison Fleuries- Winners from District 2 and Tribute to Andrew Fabian
District Council Meeting on Public Safety

The Bialik Green Plan


One of the places I like visiting most in District 2 is Bialik High School, located at the corner of Kildare Road and Marc Chagall. Students and staff there have been helpful during my first three years in office working towards resolving traffic problems. The building they are housed in has undergone extensive renovations in the past year. Soon, the administrative head office will move on to the top floor.

Last week I was at Bialik to take part in the formal launch of their new "green" initiative. I was so impressed with what they had accomplished, I encouraged them to attend the public council meeting on November 10. At that time they asked the city to constuct a bicycle path which would encourage more students to bike to school rather than getting lifts from their parents. Students Elissa Brock, Josh Bercovitch and Jacob Shapiro were in attendance along with Bialik green project leader Yves Rouillard and communications consultant David Smajovits.

Elissa and Josh stressed that the creation of a bicycle path would lower pollution. "More cyclists inevitably means fewer cars and less pollution in and around the school zone," they stated. "Studies have shown time and again that youth obesity is on the rise. We believe that a bike path will increase the amount of students using bicycles or rollerblades to travel to school. This will help develop a culture of physical fitness at JPPS-Bialik. It goes without saying that the rest of the population would also greatly benefit exercise-wise with a new bicyle path."

The students then turned to the safety aspect. "Cyclists or rollerbladers try to do the right thing by exercising their way to school, but rush hour can be pretty daunting. A bicycle path would provide a safe zone for them."

Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, a Bialik graduate, has in fact been working on a proposed bicycle path for some time. He plans to keep the students updated on his progress.

Inspired by the Jewish value of tikkun olam (healing the world), effective immediately, Bialik High School, the JPPS elementary school, and the JPPS Children’s Centre are each taking significant and concrete steps to reduce the amount of waste produced, to reuse materials instead of immediately condemning them to the garbage pail, and finally, to institute a comprehensive recycling and composting program.

At Bialik, along with its own "waste free" lunch program and an overhaul of the pre-environmentalist culture, an outdoor garden oasis is in the works, with the blueprints now being finalized. Once completed, this special area will act as a living classroom and ecosystem to serve as a continual reminder of the clean world we all are striving for.

The JPPS-Bialik greening initiative is a combined effort comprising all levels of leadership, most notably, the students themselves. Says Mr. Rouillard, a staff member of 31 years:" The students never stop impressing me. They care so much about the world around them. When I look in their eyes and see their ambition, I know we will succeed."

Hats off to Bialik.


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