Jane's Walk is a yearly celebration in memory of urban activist and writer Jane Jacobs, who promoted getting out and learning more about your community.
“No one can find what will work for our cities by looking at … suburban garden cities, manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities. You’ve got to get out and walk.”
—Jane Jacobs, Downtown is for People, 1957
With the proposed bridge over Jackson Park, the Peterborough walk had a timely subject of Old Growth Forests in Jackson Park: Exploring Treasured Trees, Transitions, and Terminology. Walk leaders Chris Gooderham and John Etches guided us through Jackson Park, starting at the playground just off Monaghan and Parkhill.
Rain and chilly temperatures didn't deter people from learning more about our local park, such as the non-living aspects of the woods that play a part on its growth. Rocks, dead leaves, air and water are some of the determining factors that impact how the woods form. Dying trees as non-living aspects of the land also have a trickle-down effect by bringing things such as woodpeckers to the area in search of food.
We looked at everything from the forest canopy above to topography of the land below and how things such as how the trees have grown in response to the slopes of the hills.
John gave us a historical look at how Peterborough is covered in Glacial sediment (rock and mineral) from the glaciers ages ago.
Chris has us look for a tree with signs of animal habitation. An Eastern White Cedar with an oddly red trunk was pointed out, which Chris described as a "home" tree, abraded by the activity of squirrels which has turned the bark red.
Jane's Walks foster conversation during the walk, and interactive elements. Chris, along with two volunteers, measured the circumference of an old tree—which is believed to be about 200 years old.
Adjacent to an old growth tree is a pink marker, indicating the edge of where the proposed bridge will cut through Jackson Park—taking the tree with it. Chris and John agreed that oddly enough, where the bridge is expected to be erected, is also the most biodiverse section of the Jackson Park forest. The whole walk really tied the big picture together of how this area came to be, and what its future might mean.
[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]