May 15, 2018
Greetings PWG Walkers,
I am moving North to the Yukon for awhile and will be stepping back from PWG which has been something near and dear to my heart for these past few years. It has been an amazing process to design and develop a nature and wellness program that engaged community, through nature appreciation, mindfulness meditation, social and eco activism, and enabled community members to connect and share stories and resources as well as good times as we walked and talked. Looking back over the photos and memories of the walks it is obvious to see that PWG has touched lives, helped us learn more of what makes our Parkdale community special, and assisted us all in deepening our well-being and appreciation of the natural and built environment one step at a time.
From the Community clean-up on Earth Day, an epic Jane’s Walk – A church and two temples with open doors to some our neighbourhood’s spiritual centres, The LOVE Walk, Celebrating Seniors, Urban and Natural Gardens, Art in the Alley and beyond, Barks,buds and blooms, High Park Happenings, the Diversity Walk and the list goes on we can see the impact of ideas and coming together as walkers at PWG. We have grown from 4 members to about 60 members and I hope this growth continues.
It has been a pleasure to serve you and I want to thank all the walkers for coming out and sharing their knowledge, smiles, and selves. Thank you to Robert, who came on board as a co-facilitator, and co-photographer officially in January of 2017 and grew our social media presence as well as provided support and added to ideas, hopes, and dreams for PWG. It was very much appreciated having assistance in all that was required to bring the community, organized yet relaxed walks, a beautiful and informative website, and reminders of walks and news to be shared.
As I look back over the years, I am blown away by all that we achieved as volunteers and members of the community. That being said, I want to thank Raja at Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) for her belief and support in what we were doing, to Park People who also encouraged and supported and connected us with other groups in the community, To Friends of Masaryk Park/Suzanne who we collaborated with on the Community Clean-up and spread the word of our walks and adventures, as well as brought good times and good people along to our walks. To the staff and members of Parkdale Library, who posted our fliers, promoted our walks in house, and displayed our LOVE WALK wall/banner of messages of LOVE and Hope for a world of love where everyone is safe at home and on the streets (twice in a year). To Kalsang at Drebu, Tenzin at Parkdale Community Legal Services, The West End Food Co-op, Parkdale Print Shop, David at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, Lama Tenzin at the Karma Sonam Dargye Ling Buddhist Temple, and Naresh and Asha at the Hindu Prarthana Temple, to Anna and Kahlin at the BIA for posting photos/tweeting our events and to anyone else I’ve forgotten to mention – a big thank you.
I invite you to take a look back over the years of the many offerings of PWG and how you as walkers and community members helped create something special through your participation and unique selves. Thank you for coming out and being part of the warm and welcoming community that was Parkdale Walking Group.
It is my hope that you will continue on with LOVE Walk and a plethora of other ideas & initiatives borne of dreams for positive change and engagement for our wonderful community of Parkdale in 2013, then begun as a social initiative back in 2015 with Ashley and myself. Robert will be taking the reins from now on and I am looking forward to seeing PWG’s new path so please keep in touch.
Parkdale Walking Group (PWG) was a labour of love and I hope it’s legacy of inclusivity while connecting our community in wellness and experiences will live on.
Walk Good (as they say in Jamaica)!
Althea E. Knight
Parkdale Walking Group Co-Founder|Programming & Creative Director | Photographer | Wellness Facilitator | Nature Ambassador | Community Liaison
Please feel free to stay in touch and let me know what you’re up to:
email for Althea: firstname.lastname@example.org
Self-care, mental health & wellness facilitator/educator | Artist