Markus Pukonen will not get on a plane, in a car or use any motorized vehicle for five years. While he’s fulfilling that commitment, he’s also circumnavigating the planet to raise $10 million for smaller non-profit organizations that make a big difference through the work they do.

Pukonen created a registered non-profit called Routes of Change to channel the funds raised through the journey, to small groups that work hard every day to create a more sustainable way of living. “I want to help create a healthy future for our generations to come and this is the best way I know how – by using my talents and passions to raise support and awareness for organizations that are working hard to create a better Earth,” said Pukonen.

Named as one of Canada’s greatest explorers by Canadian Geographic, Pukonen left Toronto on July 13, 2015 to begin his five year expedition. He is travelling in one consecutive journey around the world, by as many “motor-less” means as possible – including rowing, swimming, kayaking, standup paddle-boarding, sailing, running, biking and skiing.

On Tuesday, March 22 around 12:00 p.m. Pukonen will arrive at Esquimalt’s Gorge Park where, together with the Greater Victoria Green Team, the community is invited to welcome him.

Pukonen will share stories from his journey, followed by a community parks restoration effort. Please meet by the Nature House – located off of the parking lot, towards the water (beside the new children’s playground – opposite side of the parking lot from the Japanese Garden).

The event is open to everyone.  Visit Routes of Change for more information.

Click here to sign up with the Greater Victoria Green Team and their efforts.

Markus Pukonen is the founder and leader of the Routes of Change organization. He was recently named one of Canada’s Top Modern Day Explorers by Canadian Geographic. His adventure education work with OAR Northwest spans three major expeditions in three years: the CWF Africa to the Americas Expedition, where he spent 73 days at sea rowing across the Atlantic Ocean; a three month source to sea trip down the Mississippi River; and the CWF Salish Sea Expedition; a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in a rowboat. Markus has delivered presentations to both national and international audiences. In addition, he has presented to thousands of students and reached hundreds of schools with these expeditions. Markus studied Documentary Film Production at Capilano University with a goal of sharing the Routes of Change project with more people. He has biked 2500km of the Pacific coast and was the first person to Standup Paddleboard across the Georgia Strait, 55km from Vancouver to Nanaimo. Born and raised in Toronto he is based near his nieces in Tofino, BC, Canada.

The Greater Victoria Green Team is a regional-wide environmental program that works to restore, conserve and enhance our natural environment by engaging volunteers in educational hands-on activities. Volunteers are taught about local ecology, natural history, and ecosystem restoration techniques through a hands-on experimental approach. Activities they engage team in include: identifying and removing invasive plants, planting native plants and trees, and removing litter. The GVGT is part of Green Teams of Canada charity along with the Lower Mainland Green Team; this volunteer program is the largest volunteer conservation program in BC with almost 4000 volunteers! More information found at www.greenteamscanada.ca

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