Active Transportation News from the Eastern Shore and beyond....
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Memorial created on GBG - a stone for each life lost
Remembering victims of the tragic events in Nova Scotia on April 18/19, 2020

Nova Scotia Strong

Staying strong - apart but together

On the morning of April 19, people across Nova Scotia were shocked and devastated to hear of an active shooter in Colchester Country.   We learned that the shooter was driving a fake RCMP vehicle, likely wearing a uniform.  We breathed a sigh of relief when we heard that the suspect had been apprehended. But that was not the end of the story. Over the next few days, we learned that there were 22 innocent people killed over multiple crime scenes.  

Our hearts are broken. Our peace is shattered.  This kind of thing is not supposed to happen in rural Nova Scotia.  The level of premeditation and the extent of loss made the event particularly chilling  Additionally, the tragedy has happened when people are already suffering from the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, already shaken by anxiety and struggling to adapt to new challenges.  Safe practices in place to protect us from the virus limit the ability for people to mourn together, to offer support to community members and families of those killed. 

Our thoughts go to the friends and families of the beautiful souls that were lost.  Our hearts will continue to ache. But we will find ways to mourn and remember - together but apart.  And we will continue to share goodness and find strength in our communities and our neighbours,   #NovaScotiaStrong.
Thoughts for the victims, their families and communities have come from around the province and across Canada.  Nova Scotia Strong.

COVID-19 Challenges

Working together by keeping our distance

Thank you!!!
Thank you to medical personnel and hospital staff, first responders, truck drivers, retail and restaurant staff, cleaning crews and others hours with little sleep to keep essential services operating during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Thank you also to the volunteers who are delivering groceries, starting community food banks, manning call lines, sewing personal protective equipment, making donations, checking on neighbours, supporting vulnerable populations, sharing resources, creating online entertainment and connections - and finding many ways to strengthen our communities.

We appreciate you! 
Take care of yourself.  Stay Safe.
Thank you too to everyone staying home to slow the spread. 

Our efforts to slow the curve and manage the virus are starting to have an impact and the number of cases in our province has not reached the initially projected levels.   But we have to prepare for more time in a level of isolation and controlled lifting of some restrictions.

This distancing can be difficult for many but it does give us time with those sharing our physical space.  It also offers a chance to evaluate what is really important and might encourage people to make some lasting changes towards things like appreciation of friends and family as well as of our beautiful natural environment and the need for sustainable choices.

For now, we still have to live with restrictions and continue to take steps to slow the spread.  It is not yet time to loosen up on the efforts.

Remember to:
  1. Practice physical distancing  #StayHome as much as possible  
  2. If you must go out, maintain a distance of 2 M
  3. Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face
  4. Cough into your sleeve, not your hand
  5. Experts are now recommending that you wear a mask whenever you will be around others not in your family. This step SHOULD NOT replace other guidelines and is more to stop you from spreading germs rather than avoiding them
  6. Stay informed with current, reliable information.  The Eastern Shore Cooperator has a Covid-19 Resource Page.
Take care of yourselves and your families.  
This issue includes:
Gaetz Brook Greenway - Updates and images
More ideas for dealing with social distancing
Nature images close to home

Special thanks this month to Paul Euloth and Judy Myatt for pictures and content.  Additional pictures provided by Mary Elizabeth O'Toole
Still need a mask but unable to sew?  Bobby Bandito (aka Matthew McConaughey) has you covered with his Badass Bandito Bandana.

Gaetz Brook Greenway 

UPDATE: On MAY 1, Premier MacNeil extended the state of emergency to May 17 BUT reduced some restrictions.  Parks and trails are now open with guidelines about distancing still in place.   People are still encouraged to walk to locations if possible.

Find current information on the province’s response to COVID-19 at: 

The Gaetz Brook Greenway (GBG) has remained open while provincial and municipally operated parks and trails have been closed to control gatherings.  It has proven to be a much used escape for those within walking distance of this lovely trail, including SATA volunteers who have continued to monitor and work on the trail.  

Paul writes: 
It has been a great source of relief to walk the Greenway almost daily and work on minor vegetation remnants disturbed by the construction of our beautiful Greenway. It is interesting to see the transformation of the greenway when you minimize the impact of large machinery on the adjacent vegetation.

Our section of rail trail Greenway network is unique in HRM because of the mature vegetation on both sides of the travel way.  This will require ongoing pruning and care from our dedicated volunteers. 

Greenway Benefits
The GBG meanders through this unique vegetation and along a river, offering a quiet place to appreciate floral and fauna that change through the seasons. 

Even under current restrictive health measures, adjacent neighbours have had the opportunity to get outside for fresh air and exercise, alone or as a family group.

The crushed gravel trail offers a
safe, flat surface with suffieniet width to maintain the recommended two metre passing distance.  Staying to the right of the travel surface permits space for safe individual and family biking, running and walking.

The width of the trail makes it possible to exchange greetings or conversation with neighbours from a safe distance.

And most importantly a walk or bike ride on the trail offers a chance to self isolate in a natural Greenway space with streams and small river habitats.

If you can, be sure to take advantage of a visit to the Gaetz Brook Greenway.  You will be glad that you did.

NOTE: There are still some restrictions on parking and trailheads so we advise that you abide by recommendation to use trails and routes within walking distance of your home.  If you do park in allowed parking areas, remember to leave 2 M (~6 ft.) of space from other vehicles.

Watch for updates on our  Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails  Facebook page. Please read the most recent posts for clarification and updates. 
Scenes from the GBG (Apr. 2020) 
Social distancing in nature

Nature can bring you to stillness. 
That is its gift to you.

Eckhart Tolle


 A walk in nature, walks the soul back home.”

Mary Davis

Coping with Social Distancing

Coming together.  Sharing.  Inspiring.

Nova Scotia is still under a state of emergency with public health restrictions limiting interaction. There are still ways to connect and to entertain yourself and your family.

Many people are still working and can find themselves even busier and more separated from family than ever.  Others are staying home and not able to working or working limited hours.  All of us are staying at home when possible and not gathering with friends.  There are many different quarantine experiences and it can be stressful.  Check-in with others, especially if you know someone is on their own or struggling.  If you need help or connection, reach out to others by phone, text, email, or post. If you are feeling alone or anxious, call mental health lines or community support organizations.

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia has posted a list of resources where you can get help during COVID-19.  People without Internet access can call 211 Nova Scotia, a free helpline that connects you with government programs, social services and community groups - available 24/7 with service in 150 languages.

If you are finding yourself with extra time on your hands, you might want to try some of the many online diversions offering you opportunity to learn, improve your production - or just enjoy a laugh and a break from the stress.

Try something new:  If you find yourself with extra time on your hands and are bored, you might want to learn a new skill.  Judging by my Facebook feed, some of the favourites to try seem to be 'Quarantinis', home haircuts. Sourdough Starter and Cinnamon Buns (check out viral sensation, Mary Janet MacDonald in her Cape Breton Kitchen on her YouTube Channel Tunes and Wooden Spoons),   And, of course, Recreating Famous Paintings or Making Music Videos.  What are you - and your family - doing to be creative.

Stay active:  Get outside.  Walk around your yard or explore new parts of your neighbourhood or new modes of active transportation.  Challenge family members to at home activities.   Be creative.  Join an online fitness challenge.

Do some gardening:  Many people are starting or building gardens.  Inspired by the drive to improve food security, food gardens are especially popular.  You can create a garden of any size  from a couple of containers on a deck to extensive rows in a previously unused section of your back yard.  And if you don't have suitable space of your own, you might try a plot in a community garden or sharing with neighbours.  Create a soup group by connecting with neighbours with everyone growing different things and trading items at harvest time.  There are lots of online resources.  One great place to start is Niki Jabbour's Savvy Gardening since Niki is based in Nova Scotia and knows our climate conditions.

Be productive (or not - no pressure): If you want to create or get organized, this could be the time.  After all, Internet memes tell us that Shakespeare wrote place during quarantine for the plaque.  And there is no shortage of people posting about how they wrote a new song or started a play or redesigned their whole house.  If you want to accomplish something, set yourself a goal and work at it for 30 minutes a day and keep going if you are focused.  But don't be too hard on yourself if you need a break too. 
Make connections:  Join a Facebook or Instagram group of like-minded people. Invite friends or family to a zoom game night - try a trivia or music challenge. Prefer more direct contact?  Make a phone call or write an actual letter. Maybe even find a good 'old fashioned' new pen pal for ongoing distance friendships - everyone enjoys finding a newsy card in the postal box.  And if you do need a diversion, you are not likely to find a better connection than the >280,000 member Ultimate Online Nova Scotia Kitchen Party (Covid 19 Edition)

We support Active Transportation (AT)
 Love staying active


Future activity plans
We still do not know when our Thursday Active Transportation outings will resume.  We will be monitoring changing conditions and advice of medical experts and look forward to being active together again as soon as it is safe to do so.

We encourage everyone to get outside and walk or cycle in your own neighbourhoods.  Be sure to maintain a  physical distance of at least 2 M from others to minimize the spread of the virus. You might also want to consider wearing a mask if you walk where there are lots of other people.

Shore Road

I'm lucky to be able to walk from home along a quiet road with few cars or people - but lots of birds and beautiful changing light, depending on the time of day and season.
East Chezzetcook (Apr. 21, 2020) 
Getting my tires changed gave me a chance to walk a little past my own neighbourhood, a new luxury in the days of staying close to home. 

A gorgeous sunset to remind us of the simple pleasures of nature, and the thought of healing energy fo move on after a very difficult month.  With thanks to Judy for her inspiring words.

On April 20, Judy Myatt posted this striking image along with a powerful description:

"Sundown on the sadness we are all experiencing.
It is like a billion candles sending energy for healing."

Active Transportation Group Active Transportation Group
Gaetz Brook Greenway Gaetz Brook Greenway

Stay the blazes home!
Together, we're stopping the spread.

Copyright © 2020 Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA), All rights reserved.

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