It’s been more than 45 years since Earth Day was first declared to give “a voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues.”

It took a while for the concept of taking care of the earth, and Earth Day itself, to become established, but as environmental concerns push forward on political and social agendas, the day has come to be a yearly rallying cry to not only protect nature, but also experience for yourself.

With that thought, the people of York Region have included an Earth Week Walk in their ongoing series of themed, guided forest walks. The Saturday April 23 from 10 am – 12 pm walk at the Hollidge Tract at 16389 Hwy 48 in Whitchurch-Stouffville is a great opportunity to appreciate the natural gem that is the York Forest—and get a little exercise too.

With an eye to discovering the benefits of spending time in the forest, the tour also gives tips on how to protect the “wild places” close to home.

For those who want to have a close look at spring, the May 28 walk from 10 am to 3 pm will spend time listening to spring bird calls, and identifying spring flowers. The day will feature a forester who will share secrets of tree planting. You can even take a wagon ride.

The walks are open to all but registration is required for the guided portions. Visit York.ca/forestevents or call 1-877-464-9675.