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Volunteer ‘snow moles’ report state of Ottawa sidewalks

While driving and parking are a major topic of discussion in the winter, sidewalk accessibility can be an afterthought.

But not for one volunteer program in Ottawa. “Snow moles”, run by the Council on Aging of Ottawa, aims to make sidewalks more accessible for everybody.

“Anybody can be a volunteer,” says Mary Haller, who is the community leader for the Civic Hospital area. “If you’ve done a walk, you just go to the Council on Aging website and a snow moles questionnaire is on the main page… it takes less than five minutes. Anybody in the city can do it.”

Sandra Stec, a community leader in Centertown, says, “The corners, if it’s not cleared completely, it tends to either get icy, or there’s a giant puddle for people to have to get around.”

The program has run since 2018. Answers to the questionnaire are compiled at the end of the snow season, and reported to the city. Residents can send their reports online until March 31.

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