Public domain photo of Jane Jacobs from Wikipedia Commons.Public domain photo of Jane Jacobs from Wikipedia Commons.

Huron County to hold 'Jane's Walks'

Huron County will help celebrate the legacy of American-Canadian writer, urbanist, and activist Jane Jacobs.

Huron County Cultural Services will be hosting "Jane's Walks" across the county May 4- 5, 2024, and anyone interested in telling a story about a local location has until March 7, 2024, to submit their plan.

Huron County Cultural Development Officer Karen Stewart said Jacobs is known for celebrating a community-based approach to city building, 

"She had no formal training as a planner, but yet she introduced groundbreaking ideas about how cities function and evolve and has impacted today's architects, planners and activists and other city builders," explained Stewart. "So she was really interested in what happens in cities and in neighborhoods."

Jane's Walk is a global movement that organizes free, citizen-led walking tours in communities around the world.

"So, to honor her folks around the world come together on the first weekend in May, to do neighborhood walks and talks," Stewart said. "And that's all led by volunteers. They're on any number of subjects now including things like architecture and the environment, maybe planning or social justice, or sometimes it's just about the characters and building a favorite spot to the neighborhood."

Stewart is thrilled that a call for storytellers in Huron County is being answered.

"So a real diverse group of storytellers come together to celebrate Jane's walk and so in Huron County we sent out a call for volunteers storytellers to the community walks across the county. And so far, we're having a fabulous feedback on it and we've got probably maybe 10 or 12 already committed.," she said.

The walk has been held in Goderich in past years, but this year there will be events all around Huron County.

"Well, we have a couple of architectural tours, one in Brussels and wanting Girish we have a tree Bayfield Tree Project where they're going to highlight 600 trees that have been planted in Bayfield. In Wingham, we follow the Alice Monroe walking tour. We have a couple of characters talking about Brussels, heritage, characters and sites in Brussels. We offer at a heritage walk in Zurich, and in the north end of Exeter, we have commemorating 100 years of RCAF. In Vanastra, we have a wildflower walk at the Bannockburn conservation area. So as you can see, there's quite a variety of different types of topics that should interest different folks," Stewart said.

Stewart revealed the walks are a way to get an  intimate glimpse into the heart of neighborhoods, their stories, histories, and issues that define them. 

"Everyone has a story to tell about their neighborhood," said Stewart. "Through the power of storytelling, we can foster a deeper connection to our communities and celebrate all that makes them vibrant and resilient."

She stated storytellers can include anyone with a passion for local architecture, planning, social justice, or for sharing anecdotes about favourite local spots. 

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