Friday, April 8, 2022

“We plan, God laughs”

Every year since beginning our #Hike4Birds we have sought to set out in April to hike in the cooler spring weather, to watch the landscape come to life, and to witness spring migration.  Every year, we make our plans, set out our itinerary, and then something happens.  2019 was weather delayed, 2020 and 2021 were both Covid delayed, and now this year – a week after making our reservations to return to Quebec – things have again fallen apart.  Meaning that at the present, we both feel pretty crummy, powerless to control our situation and frustratingly incapable of determining the course of our lives.

As such last night, less than 12 hours, before we were due to get on a train to Montreal we had to make a decision.  Circumstances have given us pause for thought and it was no longer going to be possible to trek Quebec Canada in the coming month.  And so we have decided to wait and fill the coming 30-40 days by getting ourselves in order and getting ready to return to the Trans Canada Trail.

Yet all is not lost and step by step this month will nonetheless be put to good use.  We have never been ones to work out or get in shape in the past, instead we have been very fortunate and known that by our fourth day on the trail – we are back to where we need to be physically.  This year therefore we are going to take this time to get back to simplicity, to spend some time in nature, to walk a few dirt pathways, and to clear our heads before returning to the TCT.   Hopefully this time gets us to where we need to be to take on the remaining 3500-4000 km of the national pathway, and to be ready to hike to the Pacific.  

All of which means that come late May we will (hopefully) be back on the Trans Canada Trail and trekking westward. 

“Adopt the pace of nature.  Her secret is patience.”

                                                                      Ralph Waldo Emerson


Sunday, April 3, 2022

Great Trail Tales and Story Maps !

Excited to announce that over the next couple of years – largely during our time off Sentier Transcanadien / The Great Trail - we will be building a virtual Story Map to take students on a virtual hike across Canada on the Trans Canada Trail to learn geography, history, and science as explorers from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic!

We have been fortunate to be awarded a Research Grant by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to help with the costs of developing this amazing educational tool!

The goal of this project will be to create a Story Map that takes elementary school students on a virtual hike across Canada on the 28,000 km long Trans Canada Trail, allowing them to learn about the country's geography, history, ecology and wildlife as they cross the country as virtual explorers.  This high-quality education resource will combine well-researched, fact-based information, professional quality photos, and on-the-ground video footage collected during the 'Come Walk With Us' Expedition (2019-2024) to create a free, easily accessible, interactive, user-friendly tool to make Canada better known to Canadians and the world.  Developing spatial awareness builds students' capacity to put subject matter in a broader context and develop a more comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted relationships between the diverse peoples, regions, environments, histories, and cultures within Canada. 

So very much excited to be able to transform our expedition across Canada and experiences in nature along the world’s longest recreational pathway to allow students to become Canadian Explorers and see Canada from the Trail!

So exciting and thrilled!  Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged the goal of expanding this #Hike4Birds Expedition into the classroom! 

Friday, April 1, 2022

Canadian Wildlife Federation - Stan Hodgkiss Canadian Outdoorsperson of the Year Nomination

Today I was informed that I have been nominated for a prestigious Canadian Wildlife Federation's Conservation Award!  

Each year since 1975, the Canadian Outdoorsperson of the Year Award has been presented to an outstanding individual in the field of conservation. The award has since been renamed in honour of the CWF founding president Stan Hodgkiss. Nominees for CWF Conservation Awards have demonstrated an active commitment to conservation in Canada is eligible for this award

I am deeply honoured and humbled by being nominated and having our 27,000 km trek on the Trans Canada Trail to promote diversity and accessibility to the outdoors which strives to inspire Canadian youth to reconnect to nature through citizen science and birding!