Last week while having coffee with a friend, I guiltily admitted that since returning to Canada a few months ago, I realize that I can easily go the whole day without ever 'really' being outside. I go from the house to the car to the ferry to the office back to the ferry to the car and back home again. With sidewalks slippery at this time of year, I've moved my outdoor runs into a basement gym, so even my exercise takes place indoors. My friend agreed that many people these days don't get outside as much as they should, and he mentioned Streamkeepers, an organization with which he volunteers in his spare time.
Streamkeepers are groups of volunteers who participate in trainings and workshops about working in and around fish habitat. A small example of the modules provided in Streamkeeper trainings are: streamside planting, streamside fencing, stream invertebrate survey, and salmonoid spawner survey. Streamkeeper volunteers go out to local creeks and streams, collect and report data, and maintain the stream and surrounding environment. They also do a lot of community outreach: have you ever walked by a roadside drain and seen a yellow fish painted beside it, reminding you that the water flowing into that storm drain flows directly into a nearby creek? That reminder comes courtesy of your local Streamkeeper group.
There are Streamkeepers groups throughout British Columbia; and I'm going to look into joining one locally. It's the perfect remedy for my recent indoors-dominated lifestyle.