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How nature helped me lose 40 pounds

Running in nature (Photo from Masterfile)

Running in nature (Photo from Masterfile)

Losing weight was and always has been an uphill battle for me. I would have a good week or two, where I would hop on the scale to see it finally go down after counting calories and sweating it out at the gym, only to be defeated in the days...

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Heard it from a Scout: Why nature is good for the brain

Nature can present some exciting challenges, such as canoeing through some white-water rapids! (Photo by Edward Tse)

Nature can present some exciting challenges, such as canoeing through some white-water rapids! (Photo by Edward Tse)

Many of us have busy lives and hectic schedules. Whether it’s responsibilities at work, school or home, we often spend too much time indoors. Compared to lifestyles of the past, modern urban life often doesn’t provide us with the many...

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Finding peace in nature

Walking through a BC forest dripping with witch's hair lichen (Photo by NCC)

Walking through a BC forest dripping with witch's hair lichen (Photo by NCC)

Do you ever just wake up in a bad mood? Or something, or someone, has you unsettled? Sometimes the best way to clear your mood, and silence those “mice talking to each other in your head” (as my brother-in-law puts it), is to go for a...

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Greenspace makes for great headspace

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

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

The natural world has always been my fall-back position. Whenever life got too busy, scary or stressful or even when it was at its most fulfilling, I seemed to want, in fact to need, to find some green space to process it all, for a while. As a...

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Canada's bats in crisis

Little brown myotis (Photo by Brock Fenton)

Little brown myotis (Photo by Brock Fenton)

I’ll never forget the first time I saw a cloud of little brown myotis bats flying in broad daylight at the coldest time of the year in January. There was something vaguely disturbing and peculiar about seeing them fluttering around against a...

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Beech bark disease in Canada

Roots of an old American beech tree at Clear Creek Forest (Photo by NCC)

Roots of an old American beech tree at Clear Creek Forest (Photo by NCC)

While hiking through some of Ontario’s forests, you may notice that the beech trees look infected by something. During my undergraduate studies in biology at Western University (formerly known as the University of Western Ontario), I learned...

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Nature Days: Healthy children in healthy spaces

Students from Adrienne Clarkson Public School spend a day exploring NCC's Goldie Feldman Nature Reserve in Ontario (Photo by Sandy Nicholson Photography)

Students from Adrienne Clarkson Public School spend a day exploring NCC's Goldie Feldman Nature Reserve in Ontario (Photo by Sandy Nicholson Photography)

In recent years, a number of reports have suggested that screen time has taken a serious toll on children’s mental and physical well-being. But when kids ditch their screens to get their hands dirty in nature, amazing things can...

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Clean your office air with leafy green flair

Office plants (Photo by J. Pilsack, Wikimedia Commons)

Office plants (Photo by J. Pilsack, Wikimedia Commons)

On June 8, Canadians will be celebrating Clean Air Day. Part of Canadian Environment Week, Clean Air Day is meant to raise awareness about taking action for cleaner outdoor air. The occasion got me thinking about the quality of indoor air,...

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Dissecting the dandelion

Dandelion (Photo by Yinan Chen, Wikimedia Commons)

Dandelion (Photo by Yinan Chen, Wikimedia Commons)

This past summer I found myself in an unexpected scenario: on a wild foraging expedition in the heart of a concrete jungle, in my own backyard. The middle of a backyard, from house to gravel alleyway, is not the first place that comes to mind when...

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A new hope for nature: Was 2015 a turning point for conservation?

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Bayers Island in Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

No one was expecting 2015 to be a special year for nature conservation. As we started the year, it seemed Canadians were mostly focused on the economy, security and health care. Yet when we reflect on the year that was, it’s clear the...

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