Celebrate National Forest Week with a walk at a local Conservation Area

By Lindsay Advocate

What better way to celebrate National Forest Week, September 22 to 28, than with a hike through a conservation area?

Within the Kawartha Conservation watershed there are several options for great hikes featuring different terrains and distances, including Ken Reid Conservation Area near Lindsay, Windy Ridge Conservation Area near Omemee, Pigeon River Headwaters and Fleetwood Creek in the south portion of Kawartha Lakes, and Durham East Cross Forest in Scugog Township.

“Our conservation areas are popular among a large and diverse audience,” explained Director, Stewardship and Conservation Lands Kristie Virgoe. “Whether it is a short walk along an accessible trail to a scenic viewing platform or a more rigorous walk to some spectacular vistas, our conservation areas provide lots of choice for a great day out on the trails.”

Established in 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week, the intention was to encourage greater public awareness towards Canada’s forests. At the time, there was no apparent shortage of trees for industrial expansion – the greatest threat came from forest fires, due mainly to human causes. Since then National Forest Week, as it was renamed in 1967, has evolved to encompass the many and varied human and environmental aspects of Canada’s forest resources – past, present and future. Although special activities are promoted across Canada, NFW remains first and foremost a challenge to individual Canadians to learn more about their forest heritage and support greater recognition of this valuable resource.

“There are lots of ways to participate in National Forest Week,” said Ms. Virgoe. “Take a walk in the woods at your local conservation area and get to know your forest, arrange a tree planting, learn more about the organizations that demonstrate sustainable forest management, like conservation authorities or even care for a newly planted or neglected tree.

“Our forests are a wonderful resource, and the benefits of spending time in them and among them are well documented,” Ms. Virgoe continued. “The health benefits alone of spending time in nature are something we can all benefit from.”

National Forest Week runs from Sunday, September 22 to Saturday, September 28. Which conservation areas will you visit this week?

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