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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Giving the grass a haircut

Maymont 5 property, SK (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Maymont 5 property, SK (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Last summer I gave the grass a haircut. It seemed like a strange idea, but I was excited to learn something new. As I arrived at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Maymont 5 property in Saskatchewan, I was struck by the number...

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The return of the swamp forest

Conservation Volunteers planting trees at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Robert Britton)

Conservation Volunteers planting trees at Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by Robert Britton)

Imagine, if you will, an abandoned-looking farm in the southern Ontario countryside. You park your car and start walking into the back sections of it. After a while, you find yourself in a thickly grassed and soggy area with a tiny stream running...

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Drawing attention: Putting a love for nature on paper

My nature journal entry on the plant life at Yamnuska Mountain, AB (Photo by Emma Dunlop/NCC)

My nature journal entry on the plant life at Yamnuska Mountain, AB (Photo by Emma Dunlop/NCC)

Nature journaling; two words that I recently have noticed cropping up together, in everything from youth education curriculums to mindfulness and meditation workshops. My first encounter with nature journaling was during my reluctant participation...

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Welcoming our summer visitors

Canada warbler (Photo by Gerald Deboer)

Canada warbler (Photo by Gerald Deboer)

Spring at the cottage is so exciting. I have many clear memories of those first steps out of the car each year after the lake ice has broken up…The scent of trees coming back to life, humidity from breezes blowing across the waves, the...

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Fifty shades of green

Croatian coast (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

Croatian coast (Photo by Gayle Roodman/NCC staff)

“Holy smokes, this is stunning!” I exclaimed for the umpteenth time. “This is not at all what I was expecting.” I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when my husband and I embarked on our self-supported two-week...

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Saving wonder

One of my most treasured photos of my kids discovering a turtle when they were little (Photo by Dan Kraus/NCC staff)

One of my most treasured photos of my kids discovering a turtle when they were little (Photo by Dan Kraus/NCC staff)

“I caught a turtle!” The call rang out repeatedly over the lake near Algonquin Park, where my family has a cottage. It was early, my teenage boys were still in bed, when the turtle-catching alarm came. It was from across the lake, in a...

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Environmental values: the heart of the matter

Sunset at NCC's Bunchberry Meadows, AB. (Photo by NCC)

Sunset at NCC's Bunchberry Meadows, AB. (Photo by NCC)

Why do we care? I’ve always been passionate about the environment. I love learning about nature, I love spending time outside and, most of all, I love to work toward saving it. Everything I do and every decision I make takes environmental...

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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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From office to woods: NCC’s 2018 National office field trip

NCC National and Ontario staff at annual field trip, Backus Woods, ON (Photo by NCC)

NCC National and Ontario staff at annual field trip, Backus Woods, ON (Photo by NCC)

On May 25, many Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) National office staff visited our Backus Woods property in Norfolk County, Ontario, for our annual staff field trip. I’ve been working for NCC for almost two years and this was my second...

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