Why nature conservation matters to me: A downtowner’s perspective

Author Michael Paskewitz at Cheakamus Lake, BC (Photo courtesy of Michael Paskewitz)

Author Michael Paskewitz at Cheakamus Lake, BC (Photo courtesy of Michael Paskewitz)

As someone who was born and raised in big cities, people sometimes ask me why I care at all about nature conservation. Some people think it’s odd when someone who did not grow up with nature in their backyard ends up with a passion for...

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How to soundwalk (Part Two)

Soundwalk in Miller Woods, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, July 2010. (Photo by Noé Cuéllar)

Soundwalk in Miller Woods, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, July 2010. (Photo by Noé Cuéllar)

In my last post I introduced the idea of soundwalking and briefly touched on its benefits. In this post I offer my advice on how to actually conduct a soundwalk. How to organize and lead soundwalks Identify a place and plan a route. R. Murray...

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Paint your palette blue and grey

Old Man on His Back, SK, has just been named Canada's second Dark Sky Preserve (Photo by Alan Dyer)

Old Man on His Back, SK, has just been named Canada's second Dark Sky Preserve (Photo by Alan Dyer)

There are some songs that you sing for years without really understanding the lyrics. Maybe the music is catchy and you mumble along or you even know the words, but never get the meaning. There is an old Don McLean song called Vincent that someone...

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Why Canada needs more forest conservation

Forest in Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville (Photo by NCC)

Forest in Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville (Photo by NCC)

Canada is a nation defined by many things: multiculturalism, hockey, universal health care, politeness, eh? We’re also a nation defined by our landscapes. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King once referred to Canada as a country with...

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Leaving no trace during outdoor adventures

Leaving no trace during outdoor adventures (Graphic by Fix.com)

Leaving no trace during outdoor adventures (Graphic by Fix.com)

Anyone lucky enough to spend a significant amount of time in the wilderness can appreciate pristine nature… and they have likely seen people’s negative impacts on the outdoors. No one heads down a trail or to a campsite planning to...

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#HowToNature series: How to canoe

Jennifer McCarter canoeing on the Grand River (Photo by Gabhan Chalmers).

Jennifer McCarter canoeing on the Grand River (Photo by Gabhan Chalmers).

Canoeing is a quintessentially Canadian way to travel and experience the landscape (indeed, it was the primary mode of transportation and trade for the First Nations and early European settlers in North America). There’s nothing like being...

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#HowtoNature series: How to camp (Part Two)

Western uplands landscape at Algonquin Provincial Park (Photo by Cara Copeland)

Western uplands landscape at Algonquin Provincial Park (Photo by Cara Copeland)

Now that you’ve planned where to go and what to bring (see Part One) it’s time to cover what actually happens on a camping trip. Camp setup and maintenance When you arrive at your campsite, decide where to set up your tent. Look for...

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#HowToNature series: How to camp (Part One)

Set up your tent in a flat, open space away from the campfire pit and cooking area. (Photo taken at Silent Lake Provincial Park by Cara Copeland)

Set up your tent in a flat, open space away from the campfire pit and cooking area. (Photo taken at Silent Lake Provincial Park by Cara Copeland/NCC staff)

Camping is one of my favourite ways to experience nature. I love the fresh air, waking up to the sound of birds chirping, and taking the time to slow down and just enjoy being outside. Camping is a broad topic – generally speaking, it...

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#HowToNature series: Hiking

Hikers in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by NCC)

Hikers in Happy Valley Forest, ON (Photo by NCC)

For thousands of years, humans have worked to find better ways to shelter ourselves from the elements. Huddled around an open-air fire, we probably saw owls or squirrels nestled in the hollow of a tree, and thought, “Doesn't that look cosy?...

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A first timer at the Festival of Birds

Going birding at the southernmost tip of mainland Canada! (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

Going birding at the southernmost tip of mainland Canada! (Photo by Wendy Ho/NCC staff)

I love to travel. But travelling stresses me out when my focus is on optimizing every second for sightseeing with a tightly packed itinerary. A few weeks ago, I had a chance to reconcile those feelings on a trip to Point Pelee and Pelee Island...

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