Women and Girls in Nature
Romito family at Bunchberry Meadows (Photo by NCC)
Molly Dube was the 2019 communications intern for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Alberta Region. Molly is passionate about Canadian conservation and environmental protection. Her goal is to communicate conservation information in a way that will get people excited, inspired to learn more and take action.
Daily life can be busy and full of distractions. Technology, extracurricular activities and homework can make it difficult for kids to spend time out in nature and to build a connection the natural world. This is why the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) hosted a Women and Girls in Nature event at Bunchberry Meadows last summer. This event was for girls aged seven to 14 who wanted to learn about careers in nature, biology and environmental sciences from women who are professionals in these fields.
These Women and Girls in Nature events are hosted through Nature Alberta’s Nature Kids program and the Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology group.
Katelyn Ceh is NCC’s manager of conservation for the parkland and grassland region in Alberta. She also manages NCC’s Bunchberry Meadows property and was invited to speak at last summer’s Women and Girls in Nature event.
Katelyn spoke about her mother, who influenced her journey to a career in conservation. “We grew up camping and hiking. My mom made sure to prioritize nature and being outdoors,” Katelyn said. This connection to the outdoors left a lasting impression and drove Katelyn to pursue a degree in the sciences. Through her studies, she discovered a passion for protecting habitat for wildlife, which eventually led her to work at NCC.
Events such as Women and Girls in Nature encourage young girls to consider careers in areas that may not have been as historically accessible to women. Here, young girls can learn what options are available for working in dynamic and exciting careers in conservation.
Katelyn was happy to present at the event, because she felt it was a great way to bring nature into the lives of young girls and get them excited. “These events allow opportunities to foster a connection to nature, which can sometimes be missing in young people these days,” she said.
NCC also provides other ways to connect to nature. The Conservation Volunteers program is a fun and hands-on way to help make a difference and get outside. Bunchberry Meadows, owned in partnership with the Edmonton and Area Land Trust, is a Nature Destination just outside Edmonton and open year-round for exploring. Nature Destinations are a great way to introduce young girls to nature, and perhaps kindle an interest in studying natural sciences.
The Conservation Internship Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program.