By Riley Chervinski, Communications and Events Coordinator, CPAWS Manitoba
Just a few months after discovering the joy of hiking, Stella Ho and Kevin Leung are so hooked they refuse to let icy trails or cold weather keep them home.
The duo, who are both in their sixties, have become familiar faces at CPAWS Manitoba’s Nature Club activities and are among our most inspiring participants.
“You just need a good pair of hiking boots and walking sticks on challenging trails,” Stella said. “Go slowly, and go from easy to harder trails. Know your strength. Pay attention to the weather (temperature and wind), and dress accordingly—in layers, hats, gloves, water-resistant and warm footwear. We recommend spikes and poles for icy conditions and surfaces.”
It All Started with a Webinar
More than 7,500 people participated in CPAWS Manitoba activities in 2021.
Now, 33 webinars, 14 group hikes, eight workshops, and two paddle nights later, we’ve had the opportunity to chat, hike, and learn alongside many of our fellow nature lovers, giving us an even greater appreciation for Manitoba’s lands and waters—and deepening our desire to protect them.
Like many participants, Stella and Kevin got started with our webinars and were eager to get outside with fellow conservationists when we started offering in-person programming.
The duo joined CPAWS Manitoba paddle nights in September where they tried canoeing and kayaking, trekked through fallen leaves and frozen conditions on a handful of group hikes, and learned from experts at our weekly webinars on geocaching, watercolour, and northern lights photography.
“Hiking is sort of new to both of us, especially after the pandemic,” Stella said in an interview with event coordinator Riley Chervinski. “With fresh air and meeting new people, it helps with our physical and mental health.”
Wood Carvings and Wandering Deer
One of Stella and Kevin’s favourite CPAWS hikes this year was a three-kilometre stroll through Bois Des Esprits and the Seine River Greenway in November 2021.
The highlight, according to Stella, was finding more than 20 impressive wood carvings in the trees that line the trail. On the same hike, a family of deer crossed the path right in front of them, just a few feet away. And although trail conditions were rather icy, that didn’t slow the duo down.
Stella and Kevin also enjoy viewing and photographing the northern lights, a hobby they picked up after attending CPAWS Manitoba’s Chasing the Northern Lights: Capturing the Beauty of the Aurora Borealis webinar in April 2021.
Since then, it’s not unusual for the two of them to drive outside of the city in search of the colourful, dancing lights—sometimes even in the middle of the night. Kevin is an active member of the Manitoba Aurora and Astronomy Facebook group, a community he recommends to others as a great tool for tracking Manitoba’s skies.
Stella and Kevin have met dozens of other hikers, nature lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts through CPAWS Manitoba’s Nature Club.
We hope their story has inspired you to join us in 2022!
We have plenty more hikes, webinars, and activities planned. Sign up for our events newsletter so you don’t miss out!
About the CPAWS Manitoba Nature Club
CPAWS Manitoba’s Nature Club is designed to help Manitobans get outside, make new friends and learn about the wonders of nature, and we had so much fun meeting new folks.
We’ve developed a wide range of activities and programming to help Manitobans of all ages and abilities enjoy the health and wellness benefits of nature.
These community-building programs are designed to inspire people to explore Manitoba, gain the confidence to get out into the wilderness, develop new skills, and learn about Manitoba’s wildlife, birds, plants, and natural environment. Learn more here.