Past Projects | Ecology Action Centre

Past Projects


School Travel Planning

School Travel Planning (STP) assists school and community groups in developing active transportation plans to help more children and youth walk and wheel more often and safely in their communities. It offers in-depth consultations to guide groups through a five-step process:

  • Program Setup & Identify a Program Team
  • Gather Data & Identify Problems
  • Create an Action Plan
  • Implement and Celebrate
  • Evaluation and Ongoing Monitoring

The STP process was been piloted in 24 schools in Nova Scotia since 2007 in Halifax Regional Municipality, Bridgewater, Chester District, Annapolis County and Cape Breton Regional Municipality. For more information, see these resources:

Pace Car Program

The Pace Car program helps stop speeding on neighbourhood streets. It’s simple – drivers in your community sign the Pace Car pledge, and then proudly display the official Pace Car emblems on their cars. Learn more.

HFX Bike Trailer Share

The HFX Bike Trailer Share project will deploy three publicly accessible bike trailers within metro Halifax in the Summer of 2014.  Through a collaborative design process, community members design these trailers and then get to use them. Learn more

Maritime Ride Share

We’ve all got places to be. The mission of the Ecology Action Centre’s “Maritime RideShare” is to make moving around the Maritimes more affordable, accessible, and friendly for all.

We envision a future where transportation is more enjoyable with less environmental impact. One easy step we can take toward that future is simply being smarter about the way we travel now. Save money and meet a neighbour using Maritime Rideshare. For drivers, you can mitigate the cost of your car. For passengers, door to door travel has never been better.

Please take a minute to connect with this amazing organization:

By ridesharing we can help: lower traffic congestion, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and build a flexible transportation network for people who move every which way.  Of course, you probably don’t need any convincing. In fact, you probably already carpool when possible! Here’s why it’s worth it to arrange your trip with us:

  • Extend your network - We’ll find people you may not already know who are going your way.
  • Let us worry about it - Post your ride whenever you want to and then we’ll do the heavy lifting.

Our goal is to make Maritime Rideshare the best and biggest carpooling community for the Maritimes - the one and only place you need to go to arrange a smarter way to travel.

Happy travels!

    Youth Trans-Actions

    The Ecology Action Centre works with schools, youth-focused organizations and youth-led groups to foster more active transportation among youth. Please contact us if you have an idea you'd like to partner with us on. Some of our youth-focused partnership projects include:

    Youth Engagement in Active Transportation: Adult Facilitator Workshops: held in November 2010

    These three half-day workshops focused on supporting youth leaders in the promotion of active transportation to their peers. One was offered in Dartmouth and two in Sydney in late November, 2010. A total of 68 attended all three workshops, include folks from active transportation, recreation, physical activity, public health and safety sectors across the province. The workshops were offered by Active & Safe Routes to School of the Ecology Action Centre in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Health Promotion and Protection, HEAL Cape Breton, Cape Breton Regional Municipality and AcTraC (Active Transportation Coalition of Cape Breton County). The workshops were facilitated by Arthur Orsini of UrbanThinkers.

    Which Way Forward

    Ever try to book a bus trip to Annapolis Royal? Or maybe you wanted to go to Isle Madam…or maybe you simply wanted to go…Figuring out how to get place to place in Nova Scotia without using a private vehicle is tricky. There is no central website for service providers where people wishing to travel can look. Word of mouth is the best way to get information - that is not very helpful for someone new to the province or someone who doesn’t have “the right” contacts. In today’s world, we deserve better.The Ecology Action Centre,  in conjunction with Community Transit-Nova Scotia wants to change this. Part of our work involved a report that encourages the provincial government to maintain a website that would provide up-to-date information about what public transit and other shared transportation services exist in Nova Scotia. The map that researcher Wayne Groszko crafted is GIS compatible and easy to update with additional services, as well as details of the service provided.Which way forward? A public transit map of Nova Scotia (November 2010)

    Green Mobility Capital Grant Program

    From 2008-2011, the Green Mobility Grants funded community-based projects and leveraged over $1 million to support active and sustainable transportation in Nova Scotia.  Read more in the Green Mobility Grants Index.

    Recipients of Green Mobility Grant funding:

    Program Description

    The Ecology Action Centre’s Green Mobility Capital Grants Program assisted towns, municipalities, band councils and community groups in the construction, purchase or improvement of community-based sustainable transportation infrastructure.

    Adapt (Association of Doctors for Advancing Physically Active Transportation)

    ADAPT was more of a networking tool than a specific program or project. It was a loose organization of 45 physicians with no formal governance structure. Members were like-minded physicians who care about the impact of the built environment on public health.A girl enjoying her bike

    ADAPT’s priorities were:

    • to emphasize publicly that physicians see environmental health as an integral part of personal health, specifically as environmental health pertains to the built environment and active transportation;
    • to publicly promote active transportation as one of the top healthcare and environment-care initiatives; and
    • to identify and address obstacles to active transportation.

    ADAPT achieved these priorities through communication, education and advocacy. Specifically, ADAPT networked and shares best practices with fellow physicians and used letter writing and media to achieve advocacy.

    Seniors on Board

    Seniors on Board, focused on developing a training manual to encourage older adults to use public transportation. In order to adequately address this, our focus group with Halifax seniors was conducted as well as individual discussions with service providers from across the province. The project resulted in a letter to the Mayor and to Metro Transit as well as a manual for the delivery of bus training to seniors.

    Seniors on Board: Helping Older Adults become Familiar with Public Transit and Community Based Transportation Systems (March 2010) is available for view or download here:

    Canadians Idle-less

    In 2009- 2010, natural resources Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia, funded the Ecology Action Centre to work with two communities to help them develop idling restriction policy. The two communities were Antigonsh and Bridgewater. The project also developed a compendium of Idling restriction measures that could be adopted by Municipalities or the Province. The results of the project are available here:

    Goods Miles

    Mapping the road to sustainability

    The Goods Miles Project seeks to increase public awareness about the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the transportation of the goods we buy.  Case studies have been developed to compare local goods and imported goods. Consumer purchases always have environmental impacts; this project helps explain what some of those are!

    The case studies of five different products are available below:

    The Goods Miles Project Methodology and Calculations is available here  [pdf, 312 KB].

    Municipalities for Green Mobility

    A joint project of the Ecology Action Centre (EAC) and the Cities and Environment Unit (CEU), Municipalities for Green Mobility: A guide to action on sustainable transportation in Nova Scotia [pdf, 5 MB], is a resource designed to help municipalities integrate sustainable transportation into their planning processes. For each of five key components - land use, active transportation, public transit, vehicle efficiency and movement of goods – we make recommendations related to planning and policy, infrastructure, and education. Whenever possible, we provide a location-specific example for each recommendation.

    The toolkit builds on and shares the knowledge gained from the Municipalities for Green Mobility Project, led by the EAC and the CEU in 2009. Our organizations partnered with Windsor, Annapolis Royal and the District of Lunenburg to help these municipalities incorporate sustainable transportation into their Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs). The following recommendations were presented to each council.

    Annapolis Royal


    District of Lunenburg

    All municipalities in Canada had to complete an ICSP by 2010 to be eligible for federal gas tax funds. The ICSP process required municipalities to create a 30-year community vision that addresses environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability and to identify specific actions that achieve this vision. Therefore, ICSPs provide municipalities with an opportunity to advance sustainable transportation within a long-term planning framework. The gas tax funds can be used for infrastructure projects, such as public transit, walking trails and drinking water treatment, that meet the federal government criteria of clean air, clean water and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.   

    The project was funded by Transport Canada, Conserve Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection, and the Cities and Environment Unit.

    NS Green Mobility Strategy

    In 2008, the Ecology Action Centre released the Green Mobility Strategy. The goals of the strategy are:

    • To facilitate increased provincial investment in sustainable transportation.
    • To increase the viability of sustainable transportation options, such as transit, carpooling and bicycling, for Nova Scotia residents.
    • To decrease transportation-related emissions that cause climate change and air pollution.

    The strategy is comprised of eight key recommendations, each accompanied by a series of suggested action steps.  The recommendations are:

    1. Create an annual, predictable source of sustainable transportation funding.
    2. Identify a provincial department to be the steward of sustainable transportation.
    3. Establish indicators for annually measuring progress towards sustainable transportation.
    4. Create a sustainable transportation network.
    5. Integrate land-use planning into provincial policy to acheive transportation energy efficiency.
    6. Increase public awareness about sustainable transportation.
    7. Implement financial incentives to encourage sustainable transportation.
    8. Implement policy and education programs to improve vehicle efficiency.

    E-PASS - Employer Transit Pass

    The E-PASS is an employer transit pass where employees receive a discount on an annual pass, pay through their workplace and receive a photo card pass. E-PASS programs are in place across Canada and EAC aimed to start an E-PASS program in HRM. EAC launched an E-PASS Pilot Project at NS Department of Energy in October 2006.

    U-PASS - University Transit Pass

    A U-PASS is a transit pass for university students. The pass costs $115 at Saint Mary's University and $116 at Dalhousie University and at King's College; the program saves students more than $300 per year. Students can use the pass on all transit routes from September to April. All full-time students are required to pay for the pass as part of student fees. EAC spearheaded the development of the Saint Mary's U-PASS, the first U-PASS program in the Atlantic Provinces.

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