As the weather warms, we’re dreaming of getting back into BC’s parks. It may be a while before our boots hit the trails so we’ve created four stunning colouring pages to remind you of the beauty that awaits.
The pages, with scenes from stunning BC parks, are designed with beginner and expert artists in mind. Enjoy bringing these lively scenes and creatures to life:
Golden Ears Provincial Park – The traditional territories of the Katzie, S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) and Kwantlen peoples, this park is home to black bears, beavers and mountain goats.
Wells Gray Provincial Park – The traditional territory of the Secwepemcúl’ecw (Secwépemc) peoples, this park is home to the elusive wolverines and mighty grizzly bears.
Grasslands of Similkameen Valley – The traditional territory of the Syilx peoples, the grasslands of the Similkameen Valley are home to rare species like burrowing owls and sage thrashers.
Strathcona Provincial Park – The traditional territories of the nuučaan̓uuɫɁatḥ nism̓a (Nuu-chah-nulth), K’ómoks, Kwakwaka’wakw nations, Strathcona Provincial Park is home to Roosevelt elk and endangered Vancouver Island marmots.
Enter your contact details to download and print your colouring pages. Share your creations on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #colouringBCParks.
Please excuse the dramatic (read: clickbait) title…
Here at CPAWS-BC, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to help people get outside safely. The science behind the benefits of spending time outdoors is solid. Being outside can boost energy and creativity, improve your mood, and provide free aromatherapy. One study from the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that children with outdoor recesses had a reduced risk of nearsightedness.
Many people in Greater Vancouver base their weekend plans around time outside. A province that boasts the most diverse parks system in the country also has a great enthusiasm for outdoor recreation. Hopeful park visitors have recently been given a different message from multiple park agencies with the closing of parks of all types including provincial and federal parks. In alignment with our health authorities, we the “parks people” are also asking that you and your families don’t go to the parks.
Travelling to towns with terrific tourism options is a great way to spend your weekends and support our neighbours, yet right now it puts them at risk. An influx of visitors threatens not only to spread the novel virus COVID-19, but to overwhelm the capacity of smaller, rural hospitals.
Squamish and Whistler have both issued statements asking visitors to stay away, for now. These sentiments have been echoed from Tofino all the way down to Bishop, California. When these communities are open for business, we encourage you to head out and experience their trails, and stay for a while to enjoy other food and fun they have to offer. But right now, please stay put.
Just because you aren’t travelling to hike up Black Tusk or camp in Golden Ears this weekend doesn’t mean you need to seperate yourself from nature. There are cherry blossoms popping out across many streets in Vancouver and Victoria. My personal favourite springtime tree, the forsythia, is bursting with yellow flowers.
If you’ve got a window, you’ve got the opportunity to become a birder. Spring is one of the best times as migratory birds are coming back to their northern ranges. Check out 18 common birds in BC. Download one of these apps recommended by Bird Watching HQ that can help you identify birds.
Your afternoon walk doesn’t need to be in a wooded area to still reep the benefits of getting outside. Natural sunlight (in moderate levels) helps to mitigate pain and provides you with Vitamin D, helping you to absorb calcium, prevents osteoporosis and reduces inflammation.
Our public health officials are saying this physical distancing is “for now.” This isn’t easy, shifting our plans and normal ways of being. It pains me to ask the CPAWS community of nature lovers to stay away from the majestic, awe-inspiring parks system.
Like many of you, I have summer camping reservations that are sitting in limbo. The best chance for all of us to be able to get outside and connect with each other in nature is to forgo this in the short-term.
Note: CPAWS-BC is not a public health organization. This information was developed based on current information from the BC Centre for Disease Control. Please consult your local health authority for advice and updates in your area.
Cover Image by Tori Ball
You can find a list of federal and provincial closures from:
When it’s time to recharge, comfort and inspiration can be found in nature. From films, to books and activities, the CPAWS-BC team has compiled their top picks to keep your mind and spirit active. Scroll down and click the arrows for full list of staff picks.
What we’re reading
What we’re watching
What we’re listening to
What skills and hobbies we’re trying
What we're Reading
Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadia Coast By Sylvia Taylor
Beckoned by the Sea celebrates coastal women from northern BC to northern California who work on or with the sea. The twenty-four women featured in this inspiring and fascinating book represent a variety of industries—from conservation, commercial fishing, and marine biology to safety and rescue, tourism, and the arts.
Last child in the woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder By Richard Louv
Last Child in the Woods is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond—and many are right in our own backyard.
The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King
Gabriel returns to Smoke River, the reserve where his mother grew up and to which she returned with Gabriel’s sister. The reserve is deserted after an environmental disaster killed the population, including Gabriel’s family, and the wildlife. Gabriel, a brilliant scientist working for DowSanto, created GreenSweep, and indirectly led to the crisis. Now he has come to see the damage and to kill himself in the sea. But as he prepares to let the water take him, he sees a young girl in the waves. Plunging in, he saves her, and soon is saving others. Who are these people with their long black hair and almond eyes who have fallen from the sky?
The Reconciliation Manifesto- Recovering the Land Rebuilding the Economy By Arthur Manuel and Grand Chief Ronald Derrickson
Decolonizing conservation means challenging practices within every aspect of our work to protect lands, inland waters, and ocean that contribute to the colonization and oppression of Indigenous people.
Manuel and Derrickson show how governments are attempting to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples without touching the basic colonial structures that dominate and distort the relationship. They review the current state of land claims. They tackle the persistence of racism among non-Indigenous people and institutions. They celebrate Indigenous Rights Movements and document the federal government’s role in implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Whale In The Door: A Community Unites to Protect BC’s Howe Sound By Pauline Le Bel
Today, Howe Sound, a spectacular fjord in southwestern BC, is a popular recreation and tourism destination. It is home to rockfish, spot prawn and rare glass sponge reefs. Howe Sound is being inundated with proposals for industrial projects that threaten these fragile land and seascapes.
Pauline Le Bel, a resident of Howe Sound, embarks on a journey of discovery to find out what is special about the Sound, its wild nature and its people, to witness the cultural and spiritual revivals taking place. Her research, her interviews, her travels on the land, the water, the skies of Howe Sound, compel her to abandon antiquated ideas about wilderness and community, and to arrive at a new appreciation for the genius of her home.
Staff Pick: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
“New studies have found that people who spend 120 minutes a week in nature, local parks or green spaces are substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t. I love when people share stories about their favorite childhood tree or reminisce about their riverbed mud concoctions. Nature supports our learning, growth and community like no-other.
-Skye, Communications and Development Coordinator
What we're Watching
Artifishal is a film about wild rivers and wild fish. It explores the high cost – ecological, financial and cultural – of our mistaken belief that engineered solutions can make up for habitat destruction. The film traces the impact of fish hatcheries and farms, and the extraordinary amount of taxpayer dollars wasted on an industry that hinders wild fish recovery, pollutes our rivers, and contributes to the problem it claims to solve. Artifishal also dives beneath the surface of the open-water fish farm controversy, as citizens work to stop the damage done to public waters and our remaining wild salmon.
Artificial showcases the risks industrial pressures like dams, pollution, and overfishing pose not only for salmon, but species like the southern resident killer whale. When we protect habitats and allow nature to thrive, so do our cultures and communities. Streaming on YouTube.
BBC's Blue Planet II : Episode 6 "Coasts" Directed by Sophie Morgan
On the coast, two worlds collide. Coasts are the most dynamic and challenging habitats in the ocean – that brings great rewards but also great danger. The extraordinary animals that live here must find ingenious ways to cope with two very different worlds.
Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre field guide Chad Tamis helps introduces characters from the beautiful to the bizarre. We meet fish that live on dry land and puffins that must travel 60 miles or more for a single meal, and witness a life-and-death struggle in a technicolour rock pool.
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.
Jumbo Wild By Sweetgrass Productions, Director: Nick Waggoner
A gripping, hour-long documentary film by Sweetgrass Productions that tells a true story of the decades-long battle over the future of British Columbia’s iconic Jumbo Valley—highlighting the tension between protection of the backcountry experience and ever-increasing development interests in the wilderness. A large-scale proposed ski resort threatens the rich wilderness of British Columbia’s Purcell Range—a revered backcountry ski and snowboarding destination with world-class terrain, sacred ground for local First Nations people, and part of one of North America’s most important grizzly bear corridors. Set against a backdrop of incredible backcountry ski and snowboard footage, Jumbo Wild documents all sides of a divisive issue bringing the passionate local fight to protect the Jumbo Valley to life for the first time. Streaming on Netflix and Vimeo
Our Planet By Silverback Films and WWF
Voiced by Sir David Attenborough, the series showcases the world’s incredible species and most at-risk habitats in ways they have never been seen before—from ice caps and deep ocean to deserts and remote forests.
More than just a showcase of the planet’s wonders, Our Planet aims to inspire people around the world to understand the natural world as never before. Supported by ground-breaking science, nature solutions are our best hope to defend against pressing challenges of climate change.
Staff Pick: Jumbo Wild
I first re-watched this film while I was preparing for my interviews with CPAWS-BC, three years ago nearly to the day! Since then, I’ve been privileged to watch the progress and celebrate the success of the Ktunaxa Nation Council in their 30 year-long effort to protect the Jumbo Valley and surrounding wilderness in the Qat’muk Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA). The grassroots efforts which have ensured the protection of this special place continue to inspire me to fight for more resilient and healthy BC every day.
– Tori Ball, Terrestrial Campaigner
What we're Listening to
Orcasound connects your headphones to live hydrophones (underwater microphones), your ears to an ocean of sound. Learn ways you can help explore and conserve marine life around the globe, starting with studying and saving the southern resident killer whales of the Pacific Northwest. As an Orcasound citizen scientist, you can listen for whales or learn more about marine bioacoustics.
Killers: J pod on the brink CBC Radio, hosted by Gloria Macarenko
In the new CBC British Columbia original podcast, Killers: J pod on the brink, CBC Radio One’s award-winning host Gloria Macarenko dives deep into the elements putting B.C.’s orca population at risk, exploring climate change, pollution, and politics.
Science for the People: Episode #548 - Land and Ocean Conservation 101 Special Guests: Alison Ronson and Candace Newman (CPAWS)
Science for the People is a long-format interview podcast that explores the connections between science, popular culture, history, and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what’s in the news and on the shelves.
This episode talks about land and ocean conservation: what it means to protect our land and oceans, the complexities of competing interests and international boundaries, and how well Canada is doing at conserving its most important wild areas. Learn more.
Staff Pick: Killers: J Pod on the brink
The Southern Strait of Georgia’s natural beauty and abundance of wildlife led scientists to call for its protection back in 1970. Here we are, 50 years later and the southern resident killer whale population hangs at just 72. We need to rally together for all 3000 marine species in this ecosystem needing urgent protection before it’s too late.
Carlo Acuna, Ocean Campaigner
What we're Doing
Science is now proving what many of us have known all along: that time spent in nature is curative, that being outdoors is critical to human health and happiness. And if it’s not possible to be outside, you can still benefit from something as simple as looking at pictures of a forest or a grassland.
Getting outdoors for fresh air can bring a moment of calm. Nature exposure of just 20 to 30 minutes can help reduce anxiety and boost the immune system. But please keep safe when you go outside — our first responders, search and rescue teams and healthcare workers have limited resources, and using extra caution right now will help them too!
FirstVoices is a suite of web-based tools and services designed to support Indigenous people engaged in language archiving, language teaching and culture revitalization.
Watch Live Camera Feeds in Nature
Lose yourself in the thrill of witnessing animals in their natural habitat through wildlife cam feeds. These live feeds can get much closer than you would want to be in real life, where up-close encounters could be dangerous for both you and the animals.
If these resources helped connect you with nature, please consider making a donation. Your gift will help our team continue to defend nature for all Canadians, and keep us working during these uncertain times.