The Transcona Trails are alive with the sounds of walkers.
Since June, seniors in Transcona have taken to the trails in order to remain active and social, as well as to explore their community.
About a dozen walkers attended the Aug. 21 walk, which began at the corner of McMeans Avenue West and Hoka Street, and ventured west to the Rotary Tall Grass Prairie Nature Park. The turnout was the group’s highest yet, according to organizer Karen Janzen of the River East-Transcona Healthy Aging Resource Team.
The walks leave from a different location each week in order to give walkers a different perspective of the trail with every new trip.
The idea for the walks originally spun out of the Transcona Council for Seniors (TCS) advisory council.
The walks will continue next Wednesday, with walkers meeting at George Olive Park (McMeans Avenue East at Alex Taylor Drive). The walks leave at 10:30 a.m., and walkers head out for 30 minutes in one direction before returning.
The group says it can accommodate any walkers who show up, and Janzen noted even though it began as a seniors’ event, those of all ages and speeds are welcome.
"We walk at different paces. One might be a group that’s a little bit faster," Janzen said. "We want to make sure that everybody gets back and nobody is having any issues with hydration or heat."
Transcona resident Dave Nichols, who recently moved to the community from Oakbank, said the walks have been a good opportunity to make new friends. As well, he is a member of the TCS advisory council, so he’s able to get a grasp on how things are going by talking to walkers.
"It gets me to talk to some of the different people who come out," said Nichols.
The vegetation along the route is a draw for some, as members have found horseradish and wild rhubarb along the route to take home. As well, some walkers are knowledgeable about trees, flowers and other plants along the route and can share that information with those interested.
Transcona resident Emil Kowalski is one of them. Kowalski originally attended with his wife, and was around for the Aug. 21 walk even though his wife was home babysitting. He acknowledges his tendency to chat has made it easy to slip in.
"I just talk," Kowalski said, noting the camaraderie established among group members has kept him coming out.
As well, the group has also planned to continue meeting into September, but meeting places are not yet available. Janzen noted there is some community interest in taking over the walk, and there are talks of extending the events into the winter.
"We’re glad they want to take that ownership of it," she said.
For more information on the walks, contact the River East-Transcona Healthy Aging Resource Team at 204-940-2114 or Winnipeg Regional Health Authority community facilitator Stacy Boone at 204-938-5305. Registration is offered but not mandatory.