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Take Yourself Outside and Choose Your Own Green Adventure!

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While I was relaxing on the patio of a small cafe in Lunenburg called The Bicycle Lunchbox, the owner, Kate, recommended one of her famous homemade soups made solely using local produce from the year-round Lunenburg Farmer’s Market. While taking in the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the oceanside community, I noticed a story in the local paper about Old Town Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO recognizes sites worldwide with substantial importance, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and the Pyramids of Egypt. Amazing, who knew that right here in Nova Scotia, we have a place such as this?! My interest is growing in protecting and preserving local cultural and natural heritage. I checked the date of the paper, mid-October, which is International Walk to School Month (IWalk)! Other exciting environmental events take place throughout October, such as Take Me Outside Day and Waste Reduction Week. It’s also my birthday month!

As I enjoyed my cup of local fair trade coffee in a bicycle-imprinted mug, I thought to myself, I am in my second year as an Engagement Officer with Green Schools Nova Scotia. I hope to encourage youth by providing them with the tools and resources to make sustainable choices for our planet. I would like to inspire students at 230 Green Schools and also to reach their communities and enable them to work together to build a greener future for future generations. I recalled my own outdoor adventures with my daughter who, at six years old, has just learned to ride a bike without training wheels in Kejimkujik National Park. It’s been great that Parks Canada has provided free passes to their national parks this year to celebrate Canada 150. Now I am starting to think, how can I inspire change in communities around this beautiful province? I would like to become a “green role model” myself, however modest.

So, to celebrate my birthday, due to inspiration from Kate and the bicycle coffee cup at the cafe, I decided to bike. I decided to bike 100km, in just two days, why not? My close friends, who are also mothers of young children, were brave enough to join me for this crazy adventure!

We were ready: We had our bicycles, equipped with saddlebags, inner tubes (in case of a puncture), cough medicine, First Aid kit, water bottles, snacks, extra clothes, PJs and basic toiletries. We had the bare minimum, and off we went. Let the adventure begin!

This was our itinerary:

Departure: September 30, 2017
Return: October 1, 2017
Starting point: Avondale, about a 1.5-hour drive from Lunenburg on the 103 to Exit 8, then follow Route 14
Destination: Grand-Pré National Historic Site, Memorial of the Acadian Deportation, Parks Canada (another UNESCO heritage site)
Distance travelled: 50 km/day (2 days)
Maximum speed 59 km/h!
Maximum Elevation: 122m!
Average elevation: 30m!

It is simply amazing to ride a bicycle and explore a new part of this province. The discovery of new places while riding a bike is exhilarating. This is a healthy activity that can be shared with family and friends of all ages, and also matches the rhythm of nature. Biking allows you to really engulf yourself in nature, with fresh sea spray and the smell of freshly cut grass. The bicycle is indeed a great means of transportation that keeps us fit physically and mentally. A bit of cycling every day contributes to general well-being and can help reduce anxiety. All great reasons to be crazy about biking!

So, what green adventure will you choose to get your heart pumping and lungs working, and inspire your community this year? An end-of-year canoe trip with students, a ski or snowshoe trip with your colleagues, a class hike in the woods, or a shoreline clean-up to build team spirit for staff and students? Find any excuse to get your green adventure started!

It’s up to you what to choose as your own green adventure. Have fun everyone!

Marlène LeBel
Engagement Officer, CSAP

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