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A picture of a quiet street in Downtown Okotoks showing off lush green trees and a couple of shops
Okotoks Today

Okotoks’ Gets Active

Local trails, bike lanes and paths slated for upgrades

If you are a resident of Okotoks, your outdoor walks will be getting some upgrades. The town announced in January that it had received a $50,000 grant to improve pathways and sidewalks.

The grant money was given to Okotoks through the first-ever federal Active Transportation Fund. This fund is part of Canada’s larger National Active Transportation Strategy launched back in the summer of 2021.

Both funds are intended to support a shift from cars to active transportation. So, what is active transport?

According to the government of Canada, active transportation is the movement of people or goods through human activity. This includes activities like walking, running, and cycling.

So that afternoon walk you took across town yesterday? That counts as active transportation. The Active Transportation Fund is intended to build and expand pathways, bike lanes, trails, and pedestrian bridges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Through the fund, a total of $400 million over five years will be distributed to communities like Okotoks to promote active transportation.

Looking to take its pathways and sidewalks to the next level, Okotoks spent the last year creating an inventory for every active transportation system in the town.

“We’re going to take that information and prepare a prioritized list of projects for long-term implementation,” said Okotoks’ parks technician, landscape, and construction, Bridget Couban, told Okotoks Today.

According to Couban, Okotoks’ $50,000 grant will go toward creating this list, which she calls the planning phase.

While Couban is already proud of Okotoks existing active transportation system, she wants to improve it. But Couban doesn’t just want to reduce emissions.

To her and many residents of Okotoks, active transportation is about enjoying nature and the incredible landscapes that can be seen around town.

“We’re just trying to improve it and identify priority areas to make it even better…we’re looking forward to moving forward on and continuing to make the pathways and sidewalks in Okotoks fantastic,” said Couban.

With grant money in hand, Okotoks is on the pathway toward making its active transportation dreams come true.

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