Mousette Parkrun raises awareness for Ocean Week
Over 50 residents participated in an ocean-themed parkrun at Parc Moussette on Saturday, June 3. The event raised awareness about protecting oceans and local waterways as part of Ocean Week, held on June 2 to 11 this year.
Parkruns are free, non-competitive, community events organized by local parkrun organizations where residents and visitors gather to run, jog or walk through city parks. The Ocean Week parkrun was organized by Moussette Parkrun in collaboration with Water Rangers, a local environmental organization that promotes and facilitates community-based water monitoring.
Participants gathered at 8:30 am near the park’s baseball diamond, dressed as sea creatures or wearing other ocean themed costumes for the special event. The run began at 9:00 am and participants ran a total of five kilometers along Parc Moussette trails. Fourteen volunteers supported the event and residents of all ages from across the Outaouais and several visitors from abroad participated in the parkrun.
“We are a partner with Ocean Week Canada and were looking for fun activities that help people celebrate the ocean. That’s why we thought that dressing up as ocean creatures for this week’s parkrun would be a really fun way to raise awareness,” said Kat Kavanagh, Executive Director of Water Rangers. Ocean Week is a Canada-wide event that raises awareness about the importance of protecting the planet’s oceans through various activities such as beach cleanups, educational workshops, and outdoor activities. It is held annually on the week of World Ocean Day on June 8.
The Ocean Week run was Moussette Parkrun’s 71st event. The organization started in 2021 and is Gatineau’s first parkrun and one of three in Quebec. Husband-and-wife Dominique Kenney and Martyne Guidon founded the group in 2021 after participating in a nearby parkrun in Kanata. “When we first learned about parkrun, we simply adored the concept and decided to start a local one here in Gatineau,” said Kenney. “A parkrun is not a race. People can run, jog and even walk. People can also come with their kids, or their dogs … It builds good habits; it’s social and helps bring people together,” he continued. While the Moussette Parkrun is managed locally, it is part of an international network of approximately 2,250 parkruns around the world with eight million registered runners. While the majority are in Europe, parkruns are a growing trend in North America with 50 operating in the United States and 43 in Canada. Since opening in 2021, the Moussette Parkrun has had 157 tourists visit from 8 different countries.
Participants in the Moussette Parkrun gather every week on Saturday morning at 9:00 am near the baseball diamond and run five kilometers across Moussette Park.
To find out more about Moussette Parkrun and participate, contact the “Moussette Parkrun” Facebook page or visit https://www.parkrun.ca/moussette/. Registration is free and includes membership for all parkruns around the world.
Further information about Water Rangers can be found at www.waterrangers.ca and more information about Ocean Week Canada can be found at: www.oceanweekcan.ca.
Photo caption: Participants in Moussette Parkrun’s Ocean Week parkrun.
Photo credit: Greg Newing