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Spending the day with Mother Nature

It was a nice day to walk along the newly-renovated Amisk Leppanen Trail located adjacent to Amisk Lake about 10 kilometres east of Boyle.

It was a nice day to walk along the newly-renovated Amisk Leppanen Trail located adjacent to Amisk Lake about 10 kilometres east of Boyle.

The fourth annual nature walk took place May 29, and it was hosted by Albert Karvonen and his daughter, Vireo Karvonen.

Vireo said about 18 people turned out for the walk.

"We had an awesome time," she said. "A third of the people who turned out were children, which I felt was great. So we had from about age three to of course, my dad, who is 87. So we had a diverse age group, which is good to see."

According to an email from Linda Lindballe, the Athabasca River Basin outreach coordinator at Athabasca University's science outreach department, the walk was put on by the Karvonen family, with assistance from Dr. Roland Treu from university's faculty of science and technology. The walk began at the gate atĀ 183041A Township Rd 644.4, and concluded at theĀ Leppanen Cabin.

Karvonen added that the group saw a variety of different birds along the trail this year.

"Some New World Warblers were among the birds that we saw," Karvonen said. "We also saw lots of different plants, including a white lungwort, and of course, the wildrose. I was showing off the edible plants, while my dad mostly talked about the animal life, and the bird sounds."

The best part, according to Karvonen, was that people got to see the trail itself, that was there for their use.

"The whole purpose of this was to show them that they can come and use this trail at any time," she said. "It is accessible to the public through the Alberta Conservation Association.

"And so, we had signs up," Karvonen continued. "We were celebrating that the signage was there, so people can come to the gate and walk the 3.5 kilometre trail."

At the end of the trail, Karvonen made a forest elixir for the attendees.

"I showed them how to make it from the wild edible plants that can be found along the trail," she said. "The one I made is a particular on that can be just made in the spring at this time."

She added considering the circumstances, it was a great turnout.

"The walk began at 10 o'clock in the morning on a working day," Karvonen said. "So, considering that, it was awesome. It was a perfect number. If we would have had it on a Saturday or Sunday, we probably would have had more, but we decided to go with a weekday this year."

Karvonen also expressed hope that the nature walk would happen once again next year.

"My dad thinks that this is the last year they will be putting one on," she said. "But these are also the words of my 87-year-old father, so who knows."

She added she may host it herself next year.

"I honestly never thought about it, but it is a possibility," Karvonen said.