Why you should send your kids to nature's summer school

People spending time in nature (Photo by Joe McFarlane/iStock)

People spending time in nature (Photo by Joe McFarlane/iStock)

Ahh, summer. A break from backpacks and lunches, homework and bedtime fights. But under the relief, there is a niggling thought about how Jack/Jane will spend their summer, and about how ready they will be for school in September. How about...

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Learning by doing: A prof’s perspective

Maddox Cove, NL (Photo by NCC)

Maddox Cove, NL (Photo by NCC)

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a question adults often ask young children. Through high school and university, many students start to think about the answer to this question in terms of what kind of career or job they...

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Heard it from a Scout: Five summer camping safety tips

Scouts with their camping gear (Photo by Scouts Canada)

Scouts with their camping gear (Photo by Scouts Canada)

Summer is officially underway, and with it comes prime camping season. Scouting is all about connecting with nature and experiencing the exhilaration and challenge of outdoor adventures, such as hiking, rock climbing, paddle sports and, of course,...

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Giving back to the next generation

Monarch (Photo by Steven Russell Smith)

Monarch (Photo by Steven Russell Smith)

I have a lot to thank the monarch butterfly for. Well, not just the monarch butterfly; I should give my Grade 6 teacher some credit too. My teacher helped our class raise and release monarch butterflies as part of a school project. Raising a...

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Growing with nature

Children exploring the outdoors (Photo by Nature Office for the International Day of Forest Kindergarten)

Children exploring the outdoors (Photo by Nature Office for the International Day of Forest Kindergarten)

While the move toward using digital media in education reached universities and schools years ago, the educational concept of forest kindergartens is recently gaining more and more attention worldwide. This model for early childhood education...

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Naturalists notice nature - even in winter

There may be a lot more happening than meets the eye in the dead of winter (Photo by Dispatches from the Field)

There may be a lot more happening than meets the eye in the dead of winter (Photo by Dispatches from the Field)

For some, it is easy during cold, snowy days (when it’s supposed to be spring!) to curl up with a cozy blanket, a good book, and a hot cup of tea. But where does the wildlife go at this time of year? Sure, some animals migrate to where it is...

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Home tweet home: Making a bird feeder

Eastern bluebird (Photo by Cameron Curran/NCC staff)

Eastern bluebird (Photo by Cameron Curran/NCC staff)

One of my favourite memories of my mother is of her sitting on the back porch of our new home, looking out into the backyard. With a cup of tea in hand, the sun lightly dancing on her face, she excitedly whispered to me, “Look! Do you see...

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So many species, so many ways to study them

Spotted salamander (Photo by Rosemary Mosco)

Spotted salamander (Photo by Rosemary Mosco)

I have the best job in the world. I encourage people to get excited about nature. I’m a science communicator — someone who bridges the gap between scientists, the media and the public, helping us understand each other better. One way...

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Getting your hands dirty: How to build a contemporary chickadee nest box

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Black-capped chickadee (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Ever since I started working for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), where I was exposed to the world of conservation science and communications, I grew fond of birds and wanted to share this newfound interest with my family. My dad was an...

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Canada's splendid sparrow crew

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Sparrows often don’t get enough credit. Many don’t have flashy plumage like jays, orioles or cardinals, or melodic songs like thrushes or meadowlarks; however, sparrow species are often fairly distinct (once you get to know them) and...

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