Project type: Hikes
This year, more than ever, we have realized the importance of nature for our mental and physical health. That’s why we were excited to hold 8 hikes in parks all over London this fall! Thanks to the support from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, we were able to lead Londoners through local parks, teaching them about and allowing them to connect with their local environment. This fall, we held hikes at Harris Park, Kilally Meadows ESA, Meadowlily Woods ESA, and Westminster Ponds ESA. Each hike had a theme based on the unique features of each location, from invasive species to tree identification, all with a focus on London’s natural environment.
Due to COVID-19, our hikes had to be hosted differently this fall to ensure our hike attendees, volunteers, and staffs safety. This time around, we had a capacity of 20 attendees for each hike and required pre-registering to ensure contact tracing was possible. We also required our participants to wear masks and maintain a safe physical distance from others during the hikes. Despite these extra precautions and challenges we still managed to connect with 70 members of the local community and allow them to enjoy what London has to offer!
“These hikes are a great way to learn more about and enjoy the great diversity of trees in The Forest City. Special thanks to the ReForest London guides that so thoughtfully have planned out each hike and share their considerable knowledge about our local ecosystem.”– Nicholas Zendrowski, a hike attendee this Fall
The first hike of the season was located at the Westminster Ponds Centre, near Westminster Ponds ESA. This hike was focused on tree identification for our Tree Specialist volunteers, giving them the skills needed to help us out at our public events. Using tree identification guide books, the volunteers identified common native species in London (and had fun doing so). The second hike in this area was a family friendly hike, hosted at the end of October around Walkers Pond. Joined by several families, we had a great time learning about different trees in London and exploring the diverse habitats which exist in the ESA!
Our second hike location this fall was located at Harris Park in downtown London. The Thames Valley Parkway runs through Harris Park, making it an ideal location for an easy and accessible hike. This hike focused on tree identification and urban ecosystems in the area. We visited this park two times in early October and enjoyed some lovely sunny fall days while the leaves were still on the trees and easy to identify.
The hike at Meadowlily Woods ESA was focused on habitats and species compositions, as the area contains beautiful sugar maple forests, meadows, and riverine habitats. We hosted two different hikes at this location in mid-October allowing for attendees to enjoy the forest at the peak of the fall leaf colour change.
Thank you again to all that participated in our hike series this fall! We are ecstatic that, despite the challenges of the year, we were able to help Londoners connect with their local environments.
Another big thank you to the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries for helping to make these hikes possible! We hope to inspire Londoners to continue to get outside and enjoy their local parks this coming winter. Stay tuned for more hike-themed activities on our Hike Program Page.