Active Transportation News from the Eastern Shore and beyond....
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Shore Road Sunset
Evening light and soft colours can bring peace to a troubled mind
as well as a reminder that a new day will come

I go to nature to be soothed, healed and have my senses put in order.
 John Burroughs
  "Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion."
 Lorraine Anderson

We support Active Transportation (AT)
 Love staying active

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Help us plan activities and advocate for safe, connected Active Transportation in our communities.  Annual membership is just $5!!

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We're sending a huge THANK YOU  to all front-line workers!!!
All the medical personnel, first responders, truck drivers, retail and restaurant staff, and all others working long hours with little sleep to keep essential services operating during the Covid-19 crisis.  We appreciate you! 
Take care of yourself.  Stay Safe.

Uncharted territory

Social Distancing.  Finding Community. 
Coming together by staying home.

There have been significant changes in our communities and around the world since last month's newsletter.  It is difficult to even know where to start or what to write. As we have all heard repeatedly, we are all experiencing something unprecedented. It will take some time to find our footing.  These changes have happened unsettlingly fast. 

On March 11, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic.  Countries around the world have been impacted and have reacted in different ways.  We have all watched with disbelief the rapid path of the virus in places like China, Italy and Spain.

Canada is now limiting travel and requiring 14 days of self-quarantine from Canadian's returning from other destinations. In Nova Scotia, we have gone quickly from recommendations to cancel gatherings of more than 1000 people and limit unnecessary travel through increasing restrictions.  On Sunday, March 22 - just 11 days after the WHO's declaration of a pandemic - NS declared a state of emergency.  Premier Stephen McNeil said that these measures were necessary indicating that  it's "unacceptable" that so many people are ignoring public health's instructions to self-isolate and practice social distancing.

Watching this situation unfold has been stressful and many of us are feeling anxious and helpless.  We can not completely stop the spread of this coronavirus (Covid-19) but we can take action to help flatten the curve and slow the spread,  which is necessary to help prepare our health care systems by allowing time to build supplies and learn more about preventing and treating the virus.  Without a coordinated effort, the rapid rate of infection will overwhelm our systems leaving some without required care.  

Remember to:
  1. Practice Social Distancing (now also being called physical distancing).  #StayHome as much as possible  Take Prime Minister Trudeau's Challenge to #SpreadTheWordNotTheVirus
  2. Maintain a distance of 2 M from others if you must go out
  3. Wash your hands often, for at least 20 secs (suggestions for handwashing songs), and avoid touching your face
  4. Cough into your sleeve, not your hand
  5. Stay informed with current, reliable information.  The Eastern Shore Cooperator has a Covid-19 Resource Page.
We're changing our newsletter this month in response to the pandemic.
This issue includes:
Updates and clarity on Trail closures and restrictions
Tips on dealing with social distancing
Recent AT outings (before March 12) with thanks to Mona Bordage and Pat McWhinney

Take care of yourselves and your families.  

A social-distancing Sociable
featuring Billy MacLellan and friends.

Stomp Your Feet. Wash Your Hands.

Trail and Park Closures

On March 22, Premier MacNeil declared a state of emergency.  These measures included closure of many public spaces including parks, beaches and trails. 
N.S. declares state of emergency in response to COVID-19

After this declaration, there was some confusion on what trails were open for use. On Tuesday, March 24, the NS Department of Land and Forestry sent this message:

Trails Stakeholders
Earlier today, the province updated Nova Scotians on recent measures to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including use of parks and trails.

Understandably, Nova Scotians want to get out for walks and hikes in these days of self-isolation and recreation closures. The province has advised citizens that many trails across our province remain open for exercise. 

There are some exceptions. Provincial parks and beaches are closed. Trails within the provincial park system are closed. Provincial trails across Nova Scotia, if not within a provincial park or beach, are open to the public. Gathering limits of no more than five people and social distancing guidelines of six feet or two meters must be followed.

We have advised Nova Scotian to stay home and stay within their own neighbourhoods. We shared the link to the Nova Scotia Trails Guide, where citizens can go online for more information on trails in their areas. We have advised against driving, as parking may be prohibited or unavailable in some locations. Parking at provincial park properties is prohibited.

Community groups or municipalities managing trails outside of Crown land may close their trails at their discretion. If the trail is on Crown land, groups require approval from the Department of Lands and Forestry first and should contact the local area manager.

We expect trails will become busier. Trails should be monitored to ensure everyone can safely enjoy them and follow the guidelines and directives. If you feel a community trail on Crown land has become too busy, please contact us for advice or to discuss options. 

As always, find up-to-date information on the province’s response to COVID-19 at: 

That same day, HRM added specific details about what is acceptable use. Read the specifics here:  HRM offers up clarification on municipal trail closures - a great source for outdoor adventure locations - has posted this summary

All Provincial & Municipal Parks CLOSED.
  • Due to the state of emergency, NS provincial parks, national parks & tourist attractions CLOSED.
  • Halifax municipal parks, beaches, playgrounds, sports fields/courts also CLOSED.
  • Visitors will be considered trespassing & vehicles towed.
  • Not allowed to travel or gather in groups of more than 5 people.
  • Avoid areas that cannot guarantee 6-foot distancing rules.
  • Trails (not in parks) remain open for exercise.  Premier McNeil: “Walk in your community. If you need to drive to get your exercise, you’re going too far.  If you live near a trail, walk the trail.”
What does this mean for Gaetz Brook Greenway?
We have received confirmation from Lands and Forestry that Gaetz Brook Greenway will remain open with the above restrictions.  We will be advised if the GBG is to be closed.

Note that we do not have any additional information on parking and the trailheads and, therefore, advise that you abide by recommendation to use trails and routes within walking distance of your home.

This is the situation as we now understand it.  As it evolves, we will share new information on our  Gaetz Brook Greenway, SATA Trails  Facebook page. Please read the most recent posts for clarification and updates. 

Coping with Social Distancing

Coming together.  Sharing.  Inspiring.

In efforts to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, group activities are cancelled, most non-essential services are closed, and people are staying home as much as possible.    

Social distancing does not have to mean isolation.  People are taking advantage of social media to stay connected with friends and family and to provide information, education, entertainment and activity resources for all ages. People are also offering support and connection to help community members. They are sharing in many different ways - helping neighbours to get needed supplies, making donations to organizations like food banks, supporting small businesses.  If you need help, please do not hesitate to reach out and ask for it. Call, text or email a friend or family member or connect with an online community group.  Check the Cooperator Covid-19 Resource Page for a local group near you.

if you have more available time than usual, you might be seeking new diversions.  Here are a few ideas.

Learn something:  If you have more free time than usual in isolation, why not take a course? Online platforms such as Coursera, EdX and ClassCentral offer thousands of academic courses and much of it is free! The Great Courses offers downloadable lecture courses in podcast format.  Bluprint focuses on crafting.  For online crafting closer to home, visit MaritimeArtList.Com.  Of course, there is always YouTube with new content every day in all topics for any level. 
Exercise and play: Go for a walk close to home.  Get up and move every hour.  Create a family activity jar with ideas for daily entertainment. Make an indoor Olympics course.  Many local fitness facilities and trainers have added new or extended online options to help you stay fit and active at home.  Visit your favourite trainer, fitness or yoga studio on their website or Facebook page for specifics.

Express yourself:  Use whatever medium works for you – write, draw, sketch, bake, stitch, make a video, paint, dance, tell jokes, or prefect your magic skills.  Create for yourself or to share.  Want to join others and take a challenge?  Here is a place to start: A long and entirely subjective list of creative challenges to get you through COVID-19
Be productive: Finish craft WIPs (works in progress). Clean your closets/drawers, Minimize and organize. Do your taxes, Read -or listen to – that book you have been meaning to get to, Prepare items to donate (after restrictions are lifted, of course). Manage your paperwork. Write that novel or screenplay…. What have you been wanting to find time to do?
Travel in place: Visit museums or art galleries online like the ones listed here.  Connect with Nature through live feeds. Attend an online concert - the lists are changing every day as art centers, studios, symphonies, dancers and individual artists post recorded and live shows.  Watch Facebook and Instagram for updates or check out CNN All live streaming updates for daily listings of many shows 
Connect with Community:  Call a friend or someone who might be vulnerable, join FB groups with shared interests and discussion, take part in social isolation dance parties or sing-alongs.  Get recommendations from friends online - or invite others to join you with your own virtual party.

Recent Outings

We 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 people to get outside and walk 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.

Until we are able to plan more shared outings, here are some images from activities taken prior to travel restrictions.

A Day in the City _ King's College (March 12, 2020) 

Mona shared some pictures and this description, "A city day We started at Kings College Library, then took a walk through downtown noting lots of construction, well-behaved wildlife and finally visited our lovely Central Library."
Conrad's Beach (March 5, 2020) 
Pat wrote. "These pictures are from our beach walk on a bright but very windy day."
Martinique (Feb. 20, 2020) 
Thanks to Pat for the description and pictures. "Another great day for a beach walk!  We found a semi-buried lobster trap and had some fun playing with a found frisbee." 

Stay safe. Stay home. Stay Connected.

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

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