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Active Transportation News from the Eastern Shore and beyond....
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Happy Holidays!!!
Wishing you a safe and joyous season.
May 2021 bring you love, laughter, peace - plus safe travel and shared times.

Christmas all around at GBG.  

This issue includes:

 

Notes and News
COVID Updates For safe Halloween
Gaetz Brook Greenway - Updates and images
Upcoming
In Other News
Parting Shot

Festive Celebrations; New Beginnings

New traditions

“May you all have a beautiful holiday—wherever you are, whoever you are, however you spend it, and whatever emotions arise within you on this day. Blessings to the beasts and children within us all."
Elizabeth Gilbert

This had been a year of unprecedented upheaval and change.  The global COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on our lives in deep and unanticipated ways. This holiday season will  surely reflect that.  Few of us will be able to have our 'traditional' gatherings with family and friends visiting from all corners.  Instead, we will have to limit any celebrations and the number of people that we can visit.  Many of us will be able check in with family and friends only by Zoom or by phone.

Even with those challenges, though, we can still have a happy holiday.  Those of us who could view this year as a time to slowdown and reflect typically have much reason for gratitude - we have friends and family for connection - even if only by distance this holiday.  We have a safe place to socially isolate.   We have a warm home and possibly boxes of festive lights.  We have technology that lets us reach out across the distance. We can make new traditions or special moments. 

Many people will feel especially isolated this holiday season.  This holiday season, it is even more important to support members of your community who might be more vulnerable - call or drop by for a social distance conversation to check in, offer to help with errands, make a donation to support not-for-profit organizations in your community, support small local businesses,  provide a Christmas hamper, or join one of the many organizations looking for volunteers to build, read, deliver meals, collect donations .......... Look for ways to help ensure that we build back better - better policies. better infrastructure, better communities, 

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It kooks like we will be under COVID restrictions for at least a few more months. We will still be encouraged to practice social distance and avoid unnecessary gatherings, especially indoors. Getting outside this winter will likely be especially important to mental and spiritual health as we continue to adapt to reduced social interaction and group activity.  Taking a walk with 2-3 friends or family can be restorative.  So can volunteering in support of environmentally sustainable initiatives and organizations.  

Thanks to: Erin Joudrey,  Margaret Joudrey, Mary MacDonald, Mary Elizabeth O'Toole, Julie Pierce  for pictures and content this month.

Have a wonderful holiday season, however you spend it.  

Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year! Happy Holidays!  See you in 2021.

COVID Updates

As of Wednesday, December 16, 2020

COVID Protocol Summary (provided by Recreation Nova Scotia)

Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, provided a COVID-19 update today, December 16, 2020.

Holiday Restrictions to Keep Nova Scotians Safe
  • The state of emergency has been extended until noon on 27 December 2020
  • Vaccinations began today in Nova Scotia, first phase of the rollout which will spread across the province in the coming weeks. Please be patient
  • Premier Stephen McNeil and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced today, Dec. 16, that current restrictions in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and Hants County are extended, and new restrictions will be in place province wide over the holidays to curb the spread of COVID-19.
  • The current restrictions in areas of Halifax Regional Municipality and Hants County are extended until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 20
Effective 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 21 to 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 10, the following restrictions are in place provincewide:

For gatherings and events
  • Gatherings in your home can have 10 people total, including the people who live there
  • People can have a close social group of 10 without physical distancing
  • Social events, festivals, special events, arts/cultural events and sports events are not permitted
  • Faith gatherings, wedding ceremonies and funeral services can have a maximum of 150 people outdoors or 50 per cent of an indoor venue’s capacity, to a maximum of 100
  • Wedding and funeral receptions are not permitted
For sports, museums, libraries and long-term care
  • Sports practices, training and arts and culture rehearsals are limited to 25 participants without physical distancing but games, tournaments and performances are not permitted. Spectators are not permitted for any activity, including practices. Groups of 25 without social distancing, are allowed on the ice/in a program, including staff, with no spectators or officials allowed.
  • The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, museums and libraries can reopen at full capacity with physical distancing and other public health measures in place
  • Nova Scotians are still asked to avoid any unnecessary travel.
  • There is no longer a recommendation specifically around travel into and out of areas of HRM and Hants County.
For businesses:
  • Fitness and sport and recreation facilities can open. 
  • Fitness facilities like gyms and yoga studios can operate at 50 per cent capacity and must ensure three metres distance between participants during high intensity activities
  • Outdoor fitness classes can operate at full capacity and must ensure three metres distance between participants during high intensity activities
Quotes

We want to let people have their holiday with loved ones but this holiday needs to be different to keep everybody safe,” said Dr. Strang. “We need to keep gatherings small, pull back on our social activity, and avoid crowds in the retail sector so that we don’t give this virus the opportunity to spread.”

We know the holidays are traditionally a time for a lot of socializing with family and friends, but we also know that gatherings can allow the virus to spread rapidly,” said Premier McNeil. “We ask Nova Scotians to find new ways of celebrating this season while respecting these restrictions that are designed to keep our social gatherings small and our communities safe.”

Quick Facts Additional Resources
  • Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
  • Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)
  • The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)
  • Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)
  • For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)
  • For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/

Gaetz Brook Greenway (GBG)

REMINDER:  Parks and trails are open but guidelines about distancing remain. The crushed gravel trail offers a safe, flat surface with sufficient 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.  If you drive to the trail, remember to leave 2 M (~6 ft.) of space from other vehicles.

Busy Month
If you have been walking the trail in recent weeks, you will have noticed a few changes.  In particular:
  • Volunteers have been busy cutting brush and clearing debris and the change is very noticeable along some stretches of the trail.  Many, many heartfelt thanks to the volunteers and their generosity of time and spirit
  • Benches have been placed at various scenic locations to offer people a chance to sit for a rest and/or a snack as well as a chance to reflect on the natural beauty.  Some plaques are still t be place but all benches have been allocated.
  • Historic trail signs and way markers have been placed to offer a wealth of information to users.
Watch for updates on our  Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails  Facebook page. Please read the most recent posts for clarification and updates. 
In Appreciation of Volunteers
The Gaetz Brook Greenway has required an amazing number of volunteer. hours  The SATA Trails Society extends a VERY BIG THANK-YOU for all that you have done  - and continue to do - to build and maintain this marvellous community asset.

There are too many to thank everyone here, but we do want to mention a few people  who have contributed an unusual amount of time and dedication to this project.  Special thanks and recognition to Construction / Maintenance Committee members – Mary MacDonald, John Hawkins, Judy Myatt and Paul Euloth, and to Mona Bordage who took on the leading role in coordinating the informational signage.

These people are the type to get the job done without a lot of thanks but we want to say it anyway.  Thanks to all these people for all that they do to improve our communities.

Trail Maintenance
Volunteers continue to monitor the trail to ensure the best experience for users. They are working to keep it clear and safe and are getting out most weeks, weather permitting.  If you are interested in being part of the trail maintenance crew, contact crew coordinator Judy Myatt (caseygirl@bellaliant.net) to be added to the mailing list.
Enthusiastic volunteer work crew - safe social distancing (Dec. 2020)
New signs 
Spectacular evening light (Dec 2020) 
Surprises on the GBG (ongoing) 
A number of rock painters have been decorating the trail to commemorate events and holidays.  Some of these colourful rocks offer inspiration or comfort, others make you smile and recently some even provide an activity.  Many people are contributing to this spontaneous treasure trove.  Thanks to Margaret, Erin and Stephanie and all the anonymous painters who are sharing their talents and energy to make a little extra fun for trail users.

People of all ages are enjoying the hunt for these bright and varied little projects and are always on the lookout for new additions or new locations. We encourage people to resist taking them home and, instead, perhaps join the fun and move them to a new, visible location on the trail.   Or add your own art to the natural gallery of the GBG.
Another surprise (Nov. 2020) 
Erin Joudrey shared this lovely capture of a surprising feathered friend.
Christmas surprise (Dec. 2020) 
Some of Santa's helpers have been helping to spread holiday cheer on benches and signs.  What a lovely and unexpected treat!  Thanks for sharing your skills. 
Another example of the community spirit on the trail.  

Friends of the GBG (Activities)

formerly Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA)

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES
We are not currently offering a calendar of group outings.  Please keep an eye on our Friends of the Gaetz Brook Greenway Facebook Group for any new planned or spontaneous walks or bike rides planned by our members.
 

In Other News...

Active Transportation News

Emera Oval Skating
Update as of Dec 17, 2020
Due to recent public health directives, the details for reopening the Emera Oval have not yet been confirmed. More information is expected to be available in the coming weeks. 

Watch for more details on HRM Rec website 
or contact Emera Oval Hotline: 902.490.2347

Halifax Mobility Plan
Presentation on Halifax's COVID-19 Mobility Response Plan
(posted Dec 10, 2020)
This task force was created to respond to need to adapt streets and sidewalks due to COVID-19.  View presentation slides for key points.

Hike Nova Scotia
Hikers Challenge
The Hiker Challenge is all about inspiring, motivating and rewarding you - especially new and novice hikers - for getting out on Nova Scotia’s beautiful trails to start hiking or to hike more. It’s tailored to showcase the best of the province while providing helpful and fun challenges in doing so. Your reward for completing each challenge is a badge to show off on clothing or backpacks, as well as being listed on our Honour Roll. There is a cost for most badges, but the youth ones are free. Each season we’ll do a prize draw including everyone who has earned a badge in the last three months.
Lean more on the Hike Nova Scotia Projects page.

NSConnect.ca
Here is an update about NSConnect.ca, which provides hundreds of recreation, sport and physical activity opportunities in your community. 

COVID notice on site:
Many services listed in our Community Recreation Database (Connect.ca) / NS Trails Guide have reduced hours or are currently closed to the public. We advise that you call ahead to confirm services / trails are open and available before attending in person.

Follow Public Health guidelines for the county you are in.  Always wear a mask in public, indoor spaces and maintain physical distancing.


Visit NSConnect.ca to explore opportunities by region.  Note that the Central Region (Halifax) is not yet a member.   Also, there are some changes by region in recognition of current health protocols.  For example, there are more online services highlighted. This notice appears on the landing page for searching South Shore: 

Recreation Departments across the province and your region are responding to COVID-19 in a variety of innovative ways. To bring you the most relevant information on recreation opportunities during this time, we have temporarily changed the search buttons below. A growing list of records associated with each button will appear as more programs and resources are developed. The buttons will revert to the previous categories once we emerge from physical distancing restrictions. Thank you, and be well, from your South Shore Connect team.

Hike NS Fall Courses & Webinars
Registration is open for Hike Nova Scotia’s slate of fall 2020 courses and webinars. In-person courses include: Field Leader - Hiking; Navigation Maps & Compass; and Field Leader - Winter. Webinars include: Intro to Hiking; Leave No Trace; and Wildlife Encounters & Safety.

Learn more and register.

Parting Shot

Sunset and quiet reflection.  (Lawrencetown Beach, November 2020)

Be safe on the road and in your celebrations this year.  Sharing outdoor time can be a safe and fun option.

Friends of the GBG Friends of the GBG
Gaetz Brook Greenway Gaetz Brook Greenway
ShoreAT.ca ShoreAT.ca
Copyright © 2020 Shore Active Transportation Association (SATA), All rights reserved.


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