Citizens Taking Steps to Recognize, explore Jackson Creek

Upcoming ‘Jane’s Walk’, conversation targets creek’s importance in Peterborough

Getting up to speed on the vitality and importance of Peterborough’s Jackson Creek will have community members lacing up their sneakers May 25.

The popular and picturesque Jackson Creek and Park are focal points of Peterborough’s economic, social, and environmental past.

The upcoming event is called Severed Connections: The Jackson Creek Story and is part of Jane’s Walk, an annual festival of several free, citizen-led walking conversations happening around the world and inspired by Jane Jacobs.

This walk will be a conversation about how Jackson Creek and other places in the community connect residents to the land and each other, organizers say.

One facet of the discussion will cover how to use environmental restoration as a means for building community resilience.

“The best thing that happens on any Jane’s Walk is a great discussion where everyone learns something new about a place they’ve visited many times before. It’s a great way to meet new people too.”

“The walks are very interactive and participants are encouraged to ask questions, share stories and add perspective to the conversation,” Gina Varrin, the city organizer for Jane’s Walk in Peterborough, tells Electric City Magazine.

“The best thing that happens on any Jane’s Walk is a great discussion where everyone learns something new about a place they’ve visited many times before. It’s a great way to meet new people too.

“The discussion often continues after the walk and you never know what ideas and initiatives may be sparked from a walk.”

During the three-hour excursion, participants will explore the hidden creek that runs through downtown and out of the city centre.

Gina explains why she values Jackson Creek.

“About 10 years ago I was living in Victoria studying ecological restoration, and learned about daylighting and restoring urban watercourses,” Gina says.

“I volunteered on a planting of live willow stakes along part of Bowker Creek, and it got me thinking about Jackson Creek here in Peterborough. There was an interpretive walk along the length of Bowker Creek when I was living there, and though I missed that event I always thought it was a great way for people to learn more about the connections between land and water not in some far away pristine place, but right in the city.”

Gina co-led a Jane’s Walk along the more urban parts of Jackson Creek in 2013 with Peterborough’s Kim Zippel. “There was so much to learn and share about the creek’s history that it was hard to fit it all into one two-hour walking discussion.”

Gina notes a lot has happened since 2013, including the official plan review by the City, so it’s a great time for another walking discussion along the creek.

Dylan Radcliffe, in partnership with the Peterborough Field Naturalists, will lead the walk.

This event begins at 1 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce at 175 George St. N.

The walking route will encompass city sidewalks, street crossings, paved alleys and parking garages, paved trails and gravel trails. There will be plenty of breaks for conversation.

The route will be linear, the starting and ending points are about 2.6 kilometres apart on foot, which is roughly a 30-40 minute walk.

Organizers recommend participants wear comfortable shoes and bring a water bottle and snacks. Dogs must be kept on leash and owners are required to clean up after them.

Registration is optional but encouraged should there be an unforeseen change in plans. Register here.

Meanwhile, to learn about additional Jane’s Walk events in Peterborough, click here.

Photo by B. Mroz.


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