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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 3, 2006

For exercise, education take a walk on the unwild side

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By Brian McInnis
Special to The Advertiser

Norm Scofield, a docent with the Nature Conservancy, has helped lead nature walks for 12 years.

BRIAN MCINNIS | Special to The Advertiser

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WHAT: The Nature Conservancy's nature walks.

WHEN: Twice a month, upcoming dates: Feb. 18 and March 5, another in March.

COST: $10.

CONTACT: 537-4508.

WHEN AND WHERE: Meet at Hawai'i Country Club, 94-1211 Kunia Road at 8:30 a.m.

WHAT TO BRING: Long pants, long sleeve shirts, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, food, water.

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Jomar Montero never experienced an organized nature walk before but now that he's done one, he can't wait to get back outdoors for another crack at it.

Montero, a 34-year-old massage therapist from Kaimuki, had gone hiking before, but had never done something quite like The Nature Conservancy's escorted nature walks through the Ho-nouliuli Preserve in the Wai'anae range.

"The exercise, being outside, having the guides explain plants' native uses," are the reasons Montero ticked off after he enjoyed a walk on the 3-mile Kalua'a Loop trail on Jan. 22. "I did this because we had a guide. I'd probably do it again."

The conservancy offers nature walks twice a month, offering an opportunity to see native plant life and animals in their natural environment, and a chance to get in some exercise.

The seven other guests on the walk that day were a mix of local residents, tourists, and off-duty military personnel. All had one thing in common: a love of the outdoors.