Graceful Aging Through Connecting with Nature June Events Completed

Three more GATCWN event are now in the history books as the month of June comes to a close. This past Thursday Sierra Club ran the second of its Gentle Stretching in Nature events, this one at Loafer’s Lake Park in north central Brampton. The event was sparsely attended but those who did were rewarded with a rich experience.

“This morning’s session with Susan was outstanding”, said Rosemary Keenan, a member of Sierra Peel and an event participant. “Susan’s expertise and explanations taught me many great stretches and helped me understand how important they are for being healthy as I age. On top of it all, we walked around a beautiful outdoor space tucked away behind Loafer’s Lake Recreation Centre, a gem that I had not seen before. From tall silver maples and beech trees, to blue chicory flowers and yellow trefoil, to black squirrels and songbirds, to the Etobicoke Creek and naturalized wetland by the lake, we were very happily immersed in Gentle Stretching in Nature. Thank you very much for this opportunity!”

cherry blossoms loafers lake

A GATCWN park cleanup event was held this past Saturday in Andrew McCandless Park, organized by People Against Littering (PAL). “We had lots of young volunteers and talks of making it more lively with stretching before hand and adding music”, says Milan Bhutta, GATCWN Project Administrator. ” Even though it is a relatively small park, there is lots of garbage around. There are many garbage bins on site, and the park is very popular among residents; it does not stop people from throwing their trash on the ground”, says Bhutta. According to Bill Godfrey, PAL’s founder and chief cheerleader, “Adding more garbage bins is not the solution, changing social norms and mindset of people is!”

litter pickers at McCandless park 2023

P.A.L. is looking for everyone to do their part in keeping Brampton clean. “If everyone picks up 5 pieces of garbage every week, we will be well on our way”, says Godfrey. Come out to the next P.A.L. Event on July 23, in Eldorado Park. There will be snacks and prizes.

On June 8th, the Friends and Stewards of Dorchester Park (FSoDP), ran another successful Plein Air Painting event in Dorchester Park. “Stephanie led the participants through an exploration of watercolor featuring native spring plants”, says Stacey Wilson, FSoDP founder and event organizer. In addition, a self guided tour through the Shagbark Hickory and Bur Oak woodlot featured signage to help identify native spring flowers which provided inspiration for the participants. The Friends & Stewards of Dorchester Park have been actively stewarding this park for the last 14 years; removing invasive species and planting over 2500 native understory plants, trees and shrubs, keeping the park litter free, and taking care of young trees. They also provide education to the public about nearby nature and how you to can become a habitat hero. To learn more follow @friendsofdorchesterpark”

Plein air painting Dorchester Park

The BEA continues to promote the GATCWN program at various community events. This past week Milan attended an Expo put on by the Bramalea Christian Fellowship (BCF). According to Milan, “This expo provided a great source of information to the guests such as home safety, snow removal and lawn care, and of course, graceful aging by connecting through nature. We had many interested seniors and caregivers come and speak to me at our table about their passion for the environment”, says Bhutta. “Many seniors related to the isolation felt through the aging process and were happy to know our program exists and our readiness to provide an accommodating, welcoming, and educational experience for them”. The  BCF also held a raffle, provided breakfast, coffee/tea, and held prayers before and after the event.

2023 06 22 BCF Expo

In other news, earlier this month BEA was awarded an Ontario Seniors Community grant to connect local agencies and seniors’ organizations with local school green teams to encourage intergenerational cooperation in planting and caring for trees in Brampton including monitoring their growth. The project, that continues until 2025, will also promote active transportation, (walking, cycling, micro mobility) as the groups move from one planting site to another. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project.

See the events page for a list of all past and upcoming BEA events. Note that due to GATCWN’s busy event schedule, tonight’s BEA member meeting will be held in September.

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