Public Works Department staff member Adam Hansen and Ruth Boettger

Grit boxes return in 2011

November 7 –13 is B.C. Seniors’ Fall Prevention Awareness Week

By Jill Zacharias, City of Revelstoke Social Development Coordinator

In response to icy November mornings and Fall Prevention Awareness Week, the City of Revelstoke Public Works department is once again installing bright yellow grit boxes at key locations around town.

The grit boxes contain the same winter grit used by the city’s snow removal staff for sidewalk sanding.

Residents are encouraged to scoop and spread the grit on slippery spots on the sidewalk and other problem locations. Just open the lid, scoop up some grit and spread it over the hazard. Be sure to put the scoop back in the box and close the lid firmly.

This “do-it-yourself” approach of using grit boxes helps make winter walking safer for all by having pedestrians address slipping hazards right away. The city will continue to carry out its regular sidewalk clearing and sanding in addition to this program.

The use of grit boxes on city sidewalks was a recommendation in An Age-Friendly Plan for Revelstoke and Area (2009), and is based on a similar program in Ottawa, Ontario.

This program and other Age-Friendly initiatives in Revelstoke caught the attention of the BC Seniors Healthy Living Secretariat. Last week the Secretariat’s film production crew came to Revelstoke to document various programs – including the grit boxes. The video will be part of an online toolkit for other municipalities for Age-Friendly planning and projects.

As well, the Seniors Association has a few fall prevention programs underway including a new exercise class for seniors at the centre Friday mornings from 10:30 -11:30 a.m., Wii, and carpet bowling. The seniors bowling league at the Cabin has also started for the season.