Greet the new year with a nature walk

Kickstart your new year with a rejuvenating community walk through the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve on Jan. 1 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Kickstart your new year with a rejuvenating community walk through the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve on Jan. 1 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Kickstart your new year with a rejuvenating community walk through the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve on Jan. 1 from 1 to 2 p.m.

Start the new year with a step in the right direction.

Join the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve (GBHNR) on their annual New Year’s nature walk on Jan 1.

Winter wildlife is easy to spot, as the leafless trees create an open vista. “On a peaceful day like this, you don’t know what you might see,” said GBHNR Society Executive Director Janet Hutchinson.

In addition to a great variety of intriguing birds, Hutchinson said they’ve seen larger mammals like bobcats, otters, beavers and others on the reserve as well. So, be sure to keep your eyes open.

“It’s about reconnecting with nature, and getting a peaceful, relaxed start to the new year,” said Hutchinson.

Also, “it’s a great way to clear your head and start your healthy living resolutions,” said Deb Soutar, the experienced naturalist and GBHNR Society board member who will be hosting the walk.

Soutar will be sharing plenty of interesting information about the reserve and the wildlife that are seen or heard. She’ll be watching out for tracks in the snow, spotting a hooded merganser, and listening for songbirds.

Following the walk, hot refreshments will be provided in the Rotary Interpretive Centre.

The nature walk takes place along the level, gravel trails regardless of rain, show or shine from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan 1. Participants are invited to meet at the Rotary Interpretive Centre just before 1 p.m.

Dress for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes, and feel free to bring your camera or binoculars. Parking is free.

To respect the natural ecosystems within the GBHNR, cyclists, horses, and dog walkers can use the Centre Trail to connect to the Vedder Rotary and North Dyke Trails. All other trails inside the GBHNR are pedestrian only.