The Goal -
To connect kids and families to Nearby Nature - Nature right where they live.
There is a growing disconnect between urban Canadians and Nature, and youth in particular are spending less time outdoors and are becoming increasingly isolated from Nature. More than 80 percent of Canadians live in urban centres and are unfortunately becoming less connected to nature, despite living within a kilometre of a public park.
There has been an incredible amount of research that supports the health benefits of connecting people to nature, especially young people. Being in Nature promotes awareness and appreciation of our natural world as well as an increase in mental and physical health, and overall wellbeing.
Nature Canada’s NatureHood program aims to inspire children with a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature through celebratory events, educational and stewardship activities and wildlife observation, set in public green spaces and schoolyards.
NatureHood aims to instill children with an appreciation for Nature, which can lead to advocating for the protection of natural places, which in turn leads to overall healthier communities.
NatureHood connects people to Nearby Nature through:
- Observation and citizen science
Nature Canada has strong partnerships with grassroots naturalist organisations across the country, giving us extensive nationwide reach to engage local communities in hands on nature activities for kids.
The NatureHood program has been Nature Canada’s primary initiative in tackling nature deficit disorder in Canada’s growing urban populations.
The approach is simple: connect urban Canadians to Nearby Nature through activities and events to celebrate, understand, steward and experience nature.
Since its launch nationwide in 2012, the NatureHood program has reached thousands of kids and families through public events such as:
- Wildlife migration parades
- Bird Day events
- Christmas Bird Counts for kids
- Surveying at-risk birds and bats
NatureHood also works with educators to bring its program to the classroom and schoolyard. We’ve carried out initiatives in schools that include:
- Project Feeder Watch
- A Pollinator Hotel
- NatureBlitz in the schoolyard
- Wildlife migration parades
- An easy-to-use NatureHood App for kids
- Teaching resources for educators
Many of our NatureHood partners work closely with National Wildlife Areas (NWAs) located near urban centres and bus school kids to visit and explore the diversity of those NWAs.
Nature is everywhere and we encourage Canadians to explore and rediscover Nature in their NatureHood;
NatureHood has diverse and engaged partners – all 14 partners have an active role in regional NatureHood programming across the country;
NatureHood has teaching resources available for educators to incorporate in their classroom and schoolyard;
Nature Canada is Canada’s oldest national conservation charity with over 50,000 supporters, and its mission is to protect and conserve wildlife and habitat in Canada by engaging people and advocating on behalf of Nature.