We are living in a time where the majority of us feel more disconnected from each other than ever before. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of staying home alone during these trying pandemic times. Getting outside and walking in nature is a great way to feel connected with other beings. Some of the friends you may meet on a hike this time of the year include woodpeckers, crows, cardinals, squirrels, and coniferous and deciduous trees and shrubs just to name a few. On Acadia’s Woodland Trails there’s a good chance you’ll also meet human neighbours and their four-legged canine friends. The Trails have become a well-loved part of the Acadia campus for students and community members.
If you’re a regular walker of Acadia’s Woodland Trails, you may have noticed our newest installation. There are now two mailboxes containing logbooks mounted to the entrance signs at the Park Street and Westwood Avenue trail entrances. We hope hikers will feel inspired to leave notes about their experience and work together to create a living document of stories. Acadia student Sarah Lavallée (Bachelor of Community Development, 2022) developed the idea while she was working as the Woodland Trails Community Intern.
“During my time as a community development and environmental sustainability student,” Sarah says, “I have come to truly understand the importance of green space for the Wolfville community. Installing logbook boxes on the Woodland Trails was an idea that I came up with while researching the effects of green space attachment on community resilience for my honours thesis. During my focus groups, I heard from residents of all ages how important the Woodland Trails were to their well-being and sense of connection with other community members. I hope the logbooks will provide an opportunity for community members and students alike to take collective responsibility for the Woodland Trails by noting any areas that require attention or simply sharing a beautiful wildlife sighting during their walk. I hope the logbooks offer a way for the community to come together over a shared love of nature, co-create knowledge, and encourage each other to take action to protect it.”
We look forward to reading the entries and hope this initiative will provide added value to trail users as a way to engage with the community. Remember, when in nature we are never alone. We share this amazing blue and green planet with a myriad of other beings. We hope you will walk the Woodland Trails this winter to get some fresh air and see what friends you can find out there. If you haven’t yet visited Acadia’s Trails you can download a map from the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens website: botanicalgardens.acadiau.ca