Connect and recharge

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (Photo courtesy of Environment and Climate Change Canada)

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (Photo courtesy of Environment and Climate Change Canada)

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, is motivated by nature’s benefits

Since my teenage years, I have always found myself drawn to nature. When out in nature, there is not one particular item in my backpack, because I tend to vary where I go and for how long. I love to take a camera with me to document the beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views that we are so fortunate to have in our country. Whether hiking in the beautiful Chic-Choc Mountains in the Gaspé Peninsula, canoeing in Ontario, kayaking in the middle of a pod of white-sided dolphins in northern BC or kayaking during my honeymoon in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, nature has had a very special place in my heart. For as long as I can remember, I have had essential “annual appointments” with nature. I get a sense of calmness when I am outdoors, and I feel the need to protect it as much as possible.

My backpack may not be big enough to fit the next essential item — my family. But they are an important part of my visits in nature. Whether by myself, with my wife or my kids, spending time in nature allows  me to disconnect from our family’s busy life and reconnect with them and the amazing nature that our country has to offer. Simply being in nature allows me to slow down and recharge.

And don’t just take it from me; doctors from the BC Parks Foundation’s PaRx program prescribe a “nature pass” to our country’s parks and natural areas to improve people’s mental and physical health by connecting them with nature.

Nature acts as a source of calmness but also a source of motivation. Nature also has incredible potential to boost resilience, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, grow national economies and achieve benefits for nature and for society in general. When we protect nature, everyone benefits.

This story originally appeared in the summer 2022 issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine. To learn more about how you can receive the magazine, click here.

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