Verona students will be taking to the sidewalks, instead of the streets on Wednesday, for the Verona Environmental Commission's Walk to School Day event.
The commission is sponsoring the annual event to encourage elementary school children to walk to school. By walking to school instead of driving, the commission hopes to decrease the amount of pollution produced by idling cars.
This is the fourth year in a row the Commission is hosting the event. This year they are promoting the event by holding a poster contest for Verona students grades one to eight.
Whichever student presents the most creative Walk to School Day poster will receive $50 and an award certificate.
The Verona Environmental Commission, now celebrating 20 years in the township, is continuing their Idle Free Verona campaign to keep pollution at a minimum.
“Unnecessary vehicle idling is wasteful and creates harmful pollution,” the Verona Environmental Commission said in a written statement. “According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection an idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour.”
All public schools in the Verona School District have no idling signs at their student pick-up and drop-off locations, except for Verona High School (VHS).
The Verona Environmental Commission is working to get these signs in front of VHS to remind drivers to turn off their engines while they are waiting.
The Verona Board of Education will look into adding the signs to the High School to remain consistent with the rest of the schools in the district.
According to the commission, idling for more than three minutes is against the law for all gasoline and diesel non-emergency vehicles when not in motion. Idling fines begin at $250.
The Verona Environmental Commission was established on August 3, 1992 and is comprised of seven members, appointed by the mayor.