Former Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown (Photo by Jessica Deeks)
Former Ottawa Riverkeeper Meredith Brown explores Canada’s wilderness by navigating its lakes and rivers with her handmade whitewater paddle
When you live in the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem, [the Great Lakes basin], you learn how to paddle! My favourite way to explore our Canadian wilderness is through the endless network of lakes and rivers that ultimately connect us to our neighbours and to our oceans. As rivers carve their path across the landscape, they meander and create patterns of rapids and pools. The rapids are my favourite — for the sounds, the earthy smell and the challenge of making it down the hydraulic patterns caused by river rocks and elevation changes. For navigating rivers, I travel by canoe with my handmade whitewater paddle. It was made using sustainably harvested, local wood by my friend Andy Convery, who is an artist, educator, canoe builder, paddle maker and wilderness guide. The paddle was a gift from my husband, Ronnie, who I also love to bring into nature with me.
This story first appeared in the fall 2019 issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine. Donors who contribute at least $25 or more per year will receive four issues of the magazine. Click here to donate today and start receiving the magazine.