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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

6th annual CWATS celebration included nighttime Glow Walk/Ride 

by Sylene Argent

Local cyclists celebrated active transportation and physical activity as the 6th Annual County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS) Celebration and Glow Walk-Ride event was held on Friday afternoon at the Essex County Civic and Education Centre.

  The family-friendly event offered an opportunity to connect with different types of organizations affiliated with CWTAS, such as the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, TWEPI, and area municipalities, which hosted informational booths.

  Families were also able to enjoy playing road hockey and several other outdoor games, and also had the chance to learn how to play pickleball.

A Bike Windsor-Essex bike rodeo offered safety tips to young cyclists who could also decorate their bicycles in anticipation for the glow ride, which was held later that night.   

  The all-ages walked or leisurely Glow Ride travelled throughout Essex Centre for a 9-11 km stretch.

Katherine Wilson, the Active Transportation Coordinator for the County of Essex, said 250 participants pre-registered to take part in the Glow Ride, and she expected some last-minute entries to sign-up as well.

  The whole purpose of the event, she said, was to get community members involved with CWATS, in addition to getting people active outdoors. The event also included free food and giveaways.

  In the past, the CWATS celebration was held at schools throughout the region. This year, organizers decided to host a fun event at the Civic Centre to bring everyone together for the celebration in stead of hosting several smaller events, Wilson noted.

  During the event, participants were also able to connect with representatives of WSP, a consulting firm collecting feedback on the current trail network in place from those who use it. This is all part of the CWATS Master Plan update currently being undertaken.

CWATS is an ever-expanding network of bicycle lanes, multi-purpose pathways, paved shoulders, and shared roadways. It will eventually include around 800KMs of active transportation corridors, linking the County’s seven local municipalities and connecting with trail systems in Windsor and Chatham-Kent, information about the network noted.

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