Time indoors with children and teens does not have to limit the many powerful lessons we can learn from nature. When we observe patterns and behaviours in nature, we can find solutions to build a healthier planet.
The following resources and activities compliment BC curriculum core competencies including intellectual, personal, and social and emotional learning. The lessons vary in the level of guidance or independent learning required to fit your unique needs.
This activity encourages young learners to gain a deeper awareness of individual trees over time, and the relationship of a single tree to the greater environment. The journal template and prompts include drawing, math problems, and writing observations. Trees are essential ecosystems in your backyard and forests across the province, so this is a great chance to explore and study close to home.
BC has a whopping 1,807 species at risk of extinction. Find 10 of these animal species that live in BC’s land and ocean in the wildlife wordsearch. In the coming weeks, print a CPAWS-BC Backyard Bingo card and check off different ways of connecting to nature close to home.
Joinscientists Dr. Erin Ashe and Dr. Rob Williams on Mondays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. PDT. These experts from Ocean Initiative will be live on both Facebook and Instagram, covering everything from salmon and sharks to the importance of whale poop. If you miss an episode, you can watch the video recording.
Did you know the ocean and its marine inhabitants plays a central role in regulating our climate, including by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide?
Curated and designed by an Indigenous-led team, this website maps Indigenous territories, treaties and languages. Download The Land You Live On guide for interactive exercises and discussion prompts to understand the rich history and cultures of the land and water. What are the stories on the land where you live, learn and play?
How do you prepare for a hike or overnight camping trip? Learn the 7 Leave No Trace Principles. Use a printed or digital template to make a storyboard of these trip planning tips to share with friends and family. Bonus: Turn your storyboard into a stop motion film using a camera or these apps.
Create a presentation about your favourite conservation topic. It could be a camping trip story, history of trees, or the day in the life of an animal. Within your theme, consider where we’ve come from, where we are and where we’re headed. Consider tools like powerpoint, storymap, and social media to share your presentation. Bonus: Set up a time with friends, family or peers to connect over video conference or live stream to share your presentations with a PechaKucha presentation style that privileges short, powerful messages.
This TedTalk video explores the impact of underwater noise on marine environments. The video provides reflection questions, additional resources, and discussion prompts to learn about threats from human activity on marine life, and why it’s important to take action.
Subscribe to receive e-mails with current good news, and activities. Follow us @cpawsbc on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check back here for more blog posts including Staff Picks of Books, Films and Podcasts and upcoming Webinars to support our connections to nature and to each other.
If these resources helped connect the young people in your life with nature or if they assisted in at-home schooling in your household, 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.
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: