April 22 is Earth Day; a day to reflect on how our everyday actions affect our natural environment; and a time to commit to making positive changes to protect it. Here in the Harrison River Valley, we are incredibly fortunate to be encircled by some of the most wondrous natural surroundings, full of opportunities for phenomenal outdoor adventure. Here are some ways to celebrate Earth Day 2022.
BREATHE IN THE WILD
Today’s world is so full of distractions; from binge watching the latest Netflix series to losing yourself in Tik Tok videos, hours can go by in the blink of an eye. Make an effort to get outside! Take a hike on one of our many incredible forested trails, and truly breathe in the wild: the fresh air and forests are full of healthful benefits.
Did you know that many plants and trees release organic compounds called phytoncides? Phytoncides are produced to plants to help them fight against rotting as well as harmful microorganisms. The marvelous part as it applies to humans, is that phytoncides contain antifungal and antibacterial properties. This means when we breathe in forest air, we breathe in the healthy phytoncides; and our bodies naturally increase the potency and amount of white blood cells known as NK (natural killer) cells. Natural killer cells attack the toxic cells in our bodies.
As if this weren’t enough; there are the benefits of negative ions. The natural outdoor environment positively radiates with them! Plants release negative ions into the atmosphere, as do rain, roaring rivers, and crashing waterfalls. Negative ions attach themselves to mold spores, allergens, pollen and dust; and clear the air of them. Inhaling negative ions strengthens immunity, purifies blood, improves mood, and reduces harmful free radicals. Commercial air purifiers release negative ions in a bid to mimic nature; but there’s nothing like the real thing!
There’s no doubt that when you breathe in the wild, it helps you heal in the wild!
EXPERIENCE THE WILD
YA DOMA NATURE AND FOREST THERAPY
Have you heard of the practice of forest bathing? It’s so much more than just taking a walk in nature. It’s an opportunity to slow down and savour the sights, sounds, and smells of the forest; it’s a chance to be mindful of living in the present moment; of using the gifts of nature to learn more about yourself. On Earth Day (or any day); experience a guided nature therapy walk with Yadoma Nature and Forest Therapy.
HARRISON ECO TOURS
Experience the peace of a paddle-powered trip on the water! Harrison Eco Tours offers a variety of guided kayak tours including the Kayak Introductory Tour, the Harrison River Paddle, and a Family Kayak Trip. Enjoy the beauty of Harrison Lake and River, and a great opportunity to spot local wildlife!
JAMIE’S QUADRICYCLE RENTALS
A fun way to tour the village in an eco-friendly way is on a pedal powered cycle from Jamie’s Quadricycle Rentals! Choose from the Limo, Model T, Double Trike, Single Trike, Ranger, or a good old fashioned bicycle, and enjoy great exercise, fresh air, and beautiful views.
LOCAL EARTH DAY EVENT
Earth Day Volunteer Celebration
6031 Golf Road, Agassiz
All are welcome to this fun and rewarding way to celebrate Earth Day! The event begins at Friday, April 22 at 10 am with a guided tour of this beautiful 58-acre property, followed by refreshments at 11am in the farmhouse. Next, you’ll head into the field and work together to plant some native species along the river to help increase biodiversity and improve ecosystem health. Register for this event by emailing [email protected]. Earthwise Agassiz is dedicated to creating a nature-based community resource and restore the riparian, wetland, and old growth ecosystems on the Agassiz site.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
– Remember to Protect the Wild with the Leave No Trace principles: prepare and plan ahead, pack out what you pack in, leave behind the natural treasures you find, minimize the impact of campfires, learn campsite and trail etiquette, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other campers and trail users.
– Grab a garbage bag and pick up litter in your neighborhood or local park or trail.
– Plant a tree! Planting a tree or bush helps absorb carbon dioxide from the air.
– Volunteer to join a community river or park clean-up, or start one of your own.
– Be more mindful in your daily activities – don’t let the water run while you’re brushing your teeth; shut off lights in rooms you’re not using, take shorter showers, and unplug electronic devices that aren’t being used.
– Bring reuseable bags to the grocery store.
– Choose non-toxic cleaning products in your home.
– Wherever possible, choose a bicycle instead of a car, or carpool.
– Reduce, reuse, recycle.
– Support local agriculture; visit your local Farmers Markets this summer to purchase your produce, like our own Agassiz Farm Fresh Market and the farm shops along the Agassiz Harrison Mills Circle Farm Tour.
– Learn more about protecting the environment from resources like Leave No Trace Canada, Wildsafe BC and BC Parks.
– Keep the momentum going; not just for Earth Day, but every day. Practice good habits in your daily life to reduce your impact on the environment.
Happy Earth Day 2022! For information on activities to do and sights to see in the Harrison River Valley, stop in at the Visitor Centre at 499 Hot Springs Road, or follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Share your outdoor adventures in the Harrison River Valley with us by tagging your photos with #BreatheInTheWild or #HarrisonRiverValley.