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The Nature Connection — February 2020

Wildlife Resources, Success Stories and Research to Support You!

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TNC provides resources, research and inspiring stories to help educators, leaders and parents incorporate nature into our children’s daily lives.

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Tools to Help You This Month

Connecting Kids With Species At Risk

You asked and we’ve answered! Feedback from our 2019 contest showed that you want us to continue sharing ideas on how to support youth in connecting with nature along with the real life educator stories and research studies that support these ideas. You also asked for information on our wildlife and how to help them, including Canada’s endangered species. So to kick things off, we recruited the help of CWF’s scientists to share some information on our species at risk, with lots of supporting links for more information.

Read On >

kids running in nature

Why Nature in Education?

Playtime Matters

This recent report by Outdoor Classroom Day makes a strong case for outdoor play, listing many benefits and citing numerous supporting studies. It also shares survey responses from primary schools around the world, comparing the length and quality of outdoor time children get at school. In addition, it quotes teachers regarding the impact outdoor play has had on their students. The observations come from all over including China, Turkey, Bermuda and the UK. All are heartening including this one from a teacher in Columbia: “It's a wonderful experience for the children. Their faces are transformed with happiness, their teamwork is strengthened, and they overcome their differences.”

Read On >

kids exploring tree trunk

Good Things Going On

Reflections on Weekly Nature Walks

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in British Columbia provides this helpful information from a BC teacher and a WILD BC parent volunteer who share their experiences taking a kindergarten class outside once a week for a nature walk. They review what worked well and what could use improvement, and they include 15 nature walk ideas and resources.

Read On >

Sixteen Stories

The Back to Nature Network has a collection of stories from Ontario elementary school teachers who have successfully led classes in areas that are within walking distance from their school and have an environmental theme. Click here to access this document full of insights and inspiration.

Read On >

Do you have a positive story of connecting youth with nature in your school or community? Please share so we can help others with ideas and inspiration to do something similar in their neck of the woods!

It's Wild

City Nature Challenge

This April 24 - 27, get outside and see how many nature observations you can make!

The City Nature Challenge is an international initiative that celebrates the diversity of nature around the world. Cities from multiple countries will be competing in a friendly challenge to see which group can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the 2020 City Nature Challenge. Not only will we be competing internationally, but we'll also have a fun Canada-only tally to see which Canadian city uploads the most observations. Through use of the free downloadable iNaturalist app, Canadians across the country can participate in the challenge by uploading observations of nature in their own city, contributing to Canada’s national total.

Several cities in Canada are participating.

Get more information here >

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Don't Miss This!

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WILD Family Nature Club

How often do you and your family spend time in nature? Did you know that almost a third of Canadians admit to spending less than a half hour outside per week?* That’s only five minutes a day! Join us in making a resolution to get outside more as a family, and help inspire other families to do the same through WILD Family Nature Club.

*2017 Coleman Canada Outdoor Report

Join WILD Family Nature Club >

inat app

Get Outside With iNaturalist

Nature doesn’t disappear when temperatures drop below zero! With your free iNaturalist Canada app, you can contribute to a national scientific database by snapping and uploading pictures of nature right outside your door. Head to and download the app for your iPhone, Android or computer.

Join >

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Know Someone Between 15 and 18?

At the Canadian Wildlife Federation, young people often ask us, “How can I get involved and what can I do to help the planet?” When you are aged 15 to 18, the answer is simple: become part of the CWF WILD Outside program, funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps program.

Apply Now >

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