|Connect with Nature
Today, we face a paradox: Canadians rank environmental issues near the top of the national agenda, yet fewer Canadians than ever have a personal connection to the land.
Nature Canada addresses this paradox by tapping into Canadians’ basic empathy for our planet’s plant and animal species and giving people an outlet to act positively on nature’s behalf.
Explore the natural world, and gain a greater understanding of beauty, its gifts, and its fragility, by participating in one of Nature Canada’s outreach programs.
Nature Explorers is Nature Canada's major initiative to get over a million children, youth and their families more involved in nature through participation in multiple nature-based activities. The program includes an online community where Canadians young and old can share their experiences in nature, broadcast opinions on green issues, and get fun ideas on how to connect with the natural world, whether it's a remote natural area or right in your backyard.
This community is for anyone who has an interest in nature and is looking for ideas on how to connect – connect with nature, and connect with others who like nature.
Parents and teachers will find great ideas, tips and advice on everything from how to get the family off the couch and outside, to facts and figures about the natural world that you can use to live a greener lifestyle.
My Parks Pass
Want to Know the Past, Enjoy the Present and Protect the Future? One great way is through My Parks Pass, a new initiative that launched on Earth Day, 2010 promoting opportunities for youth to explore Canadian nature and history. My Parks Pass, distributed to all 400,000 Grade 8 students across Canada, provides these youth with free access to national parks and national historic sites administered by Parks Canada over the course of the year. In addition, beginning in September 2010 all new Grade 8 classes across Canada will be able to visit national parks and national historic sites for free when visiting as part of an organized school trip. My Parks Pass is a joint partnership between Nature Canada, Parks Canada and the Historica-Dominion Institute. For more information on this new initiative read the press release.
Canadian Important Bird Area Caretaker Network
Canada's Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a science-based initiative to identify, conserve and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for Canada's bird populations. A Caretaker is a local volunteer who is matched to one (or more) IBAs. Caretakers are community champions, acting as watchdogs to ensure that changes within IBAs, or threats to their ecological integrity, are properly documented – and, ideally, resolved. Caretaker activities vary depending on site characteristics and their own interests, but can include: collecting bird data; conducting site assessments; restoring habitat; raising awareness; and advocacy efforts.
Caretaker Networks are currently underway in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Québec and Nova Scotia. While each program has a slightly different administrative structure, most of these programs are run by provincial nature conservation organizations, with varying levels of support and involvement from the Canadian IBA Program co-partners, Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.
Volunteer as a Caretaker, support a regional IBA Program, or learn more about how you can help protect birds and biodiversity.
Want to do something good for your community and the environment? Try NatureWatch -- our suite of “citizen science” monitoring programs – and start collecting data on water quality, air quality, biodiversity, climate change and much more. Thousands of Canadians submit data that decision-makers use to make effective and sustainable choices in planning for our environment. Tell us about plant bloom times, frog and worm populations, and freeze and thaw dates in your area, and help us learn more about ecological change in this country.
NatureWatch is administered through a partnership between Nature Canada and the University of Ottawa Laboratory for Integrated Environmental & Policy Change.
Join a Naturalist Club
Volunteer naturalists across Canada annually contribute over 608,000 hours to running nature conservation and education activities, and providing service to their local naturalist clubs. Here are just some of the ways they contribute to their community:
You can join a national network of people who care about nature by contacting the naturalist clubs of the Canadian Nature Network. These provincial or territorial organizations can also connect you with local naturalist clubs and activities.