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Promoting Public Awareness Of Wildlife Habitats Through Environmental Education

Healthy Active Living

01 19 2014 Snowshoeing3

On January 19th of this year Kids For Turtles held a Snowshoeing event as we like to try to do once per winter. I find that each year this event becomes a little more popular as word gets out. This year we had close to 70 people attend representing a wide range in ages for a day of fun in the snow, and snow it did! People strapped on snowshoes or just went in their boots for a beautiful guided hike through Scout Valley trails. Some of the kids and parents even braved taking the large wooden toboggans down the big hill by Regan House. Everyone came inside after and enjoyed some hot soup, sandwiches, coco and coffee. Why do we put events like these on in the middle of winter when the turtles are hibernating under the ice? Kids For Turtles isn’t just about turtles nor is it just about kids. Part of the message that we want to get out surrounds around promoting active healthy lifestyles and experiencing nature, for everyone. What better way to accomplish both than through a snowshoeing event.

Annually the month of February has always been heart month, that time every year when the Heart and Stroke Foundation reminds us that a healthy active lifestyle can be a matter of life and death. I witnessed this over the past year through a friend who I met at the gym I joined a year ago. Sylvie Martin is a walking talking reminder of the importance of healthy living. After not one but two heart attacks two years ago Sylvie responded to that wake-up call by taking charge of her life and making the necessary changes. She reduced her stress, quite smoking, changed her diet and joined Pretty Women Fitness as she began to change her path. Since joining she has lost 38 lbs and 24 inches through a rigid workout program that keeps her busy 6 days a week, along with a drastic change to her eating habits. Her story is so compelling that The Heart and Stroke Foundation made her their national spokesperson for the 2014 heart month campaign. This might sound like a huge feat, but to Sylvie it is simply what needed to be done in order to stay alive. It’s not all hard sweaty work trust me, we share many laughs and enjoy a sense of camaraderie and an atmosphere where we support each other. I asked Sylvie why she is so determined aside from the fact that she knows she won’t be here otherwise, and she told me that she feels strongly that she owes those that financially support the research that the Heart and Stroke Foundation does by looking after herself. She points out that she feels it would be disrespectful if she continued to abuse her health after technology saved her life through two stints placed at blockages in her arteries. She is clear that that research is the reason why so many people, who like her have suffered major heart attacks, are now able to lead normal lives. There is no one more appreciative of the second chance she has been handed, and that is apparent in Sylvie’s happy and contagiously optimistic demeanor. She is the first to get us all motivated as she dances around the room whenever the music moves her. Stories like Sylvie’s are exactly why Kids For Turtles promotes healthy active lifestyles. We know that if people look after themselves they tend to also look after the world around them, and that is good for everyone. That is why this year we decided to hold a second snowshoeing event.

We hope you can join us for another fun filled day with nature enjoying all of this bountiful snow. The event will be held appropriately on Family Day, February 17th at the Line 15 entrance of Scout Valley. Like the event in January we will have two sessions one from 10am – 12pm and the second from 1pm – 3pm with lunch provided for everyone between 12pm and 1pm. The event is free, but good will donations are always welcome. Bring your snowshoes if you have them, but we do have about 15 pairs in a range of sizes from kids to adults, or just wear your boots as the trails are well used and packed down. Toboggans will also be available for those brave enough to careen widely down a snowy hill. So get outside and enjoy healthy active living while at the same time enjoying our incredible Canadian outdoors.

 

Written by: Jacquie Kent, Board of Directors Chair with Kids For Turtles. Kids For Turtles Environmental Education is an educational and outreach organization working to bring a better understanding of and stewardship to the environment around us.