Celebrate Canada Day with nature

Happy Canada Day (photo by Ian Muttoo)

Happy Canada Day (photo by Ian Muttoo)

July 1, 2014 | by Carys Richards

To celebrate Canada Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) urges Canadians across the country to get outdoors and enjoy our country’s birthday with nature.

This year, NCC invites you to visit one of our stunning sites during your day off. Our properties are ecologically significant natural areas in some of the greatest landscapes our country has to offer. From the Bobolink Meadows in British Columbia to Maddox Cove in Newfoundland, there are plenty of natural landscapes that provide the perfect holiday escape. 

Many Canadians celebrate the day with festivities, face painting and fireworks. For something different, why not try your hand at bird watching? 

See if you can spot a burrowing owlet at Saskatchewan’s Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area. These endangered prairie birds emerge from their burrows in late June and early July and they can be found standing on fence posts or foraging in the grass. With fewer than 1,000 breeding species remaining in the country, spotting one of these species is sure to make your Canada Day extra-special!

With butterfly season upon us, the long weekend is the perfect opportunity to try counting these flutterers. Check out these colourful creatures at Alberta’s Waterton Park Front, where butterflies are out in full force. How many can you spot?

Spend Canada Day exploring the great outdoors. Interpretive trails and self-guided hikes are excellent options for families looking to escape the urban celebrations. Take the opportunity to enjoy some time away from the city and soak up the benefits of fresh air; rain or shine, time in nature is good for your health. But, don’t let the elements cut your Canada Day short, be sure to dress for the weather. Whether you pack comfortable hiking boots, sunscreen or long sleeves, be prepared. 

If you’re looking for something more leisurely than an outdoor excursion, you can always soak up the sun from your front yard. Gardening is a rewarding way to spruce up your home, and if you plant the right native species, it can even bring the birds and the butterflies right to you! The number of monarchs that migrate to Canada during the springtime is declining, so why not plant some milkweed in your garden to attract these beautiful butterflies? Check out NCC’s native gardening tips here

An additional benefit to gardening is the opportunity to remove some unwanted invasive species. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even put your weeds to good use with Carly Dow’s culinary creations, featuring recipes like dandelion blossom pancakes and strawberry knotweed pie. 

Whether you choose to spend your holiday relaxing at home or away from the city, enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature. Enjoy your Canada Day, and remember to appreciate all of the great landscapes our country has to offer!

Carys Richards (Photo courtesy of Carys Richards)

About the Author

Carys Richards is the communications manager for NCC’s Alberta Region.

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