We all know that as Canadians we do things differently than our friends to the south - but sometimes those differences are very subtle.  In your work to connect kids with nature, what challenges and opportunities do you see that are uniquely Canadian?

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In Ontario we are part of four distinct forest regions. In Southern Ontario, we live in the deciduous Carolinian forest where we find magnolia, shagbark hickory and beautiful big oak trees. A bit further north is the Great Lakes forest where cedar and pine trees are mixed in with maples and birches. North of that forest zone, is the great Boreal forest where huge white pines, red pines, black and red spruces grow. North of the Boreal is the Hudson Bay lowlands which is chracterized by scattered growth of Tamarack and Black Spruce amidst the tundra.

I think the relative abundance of wild places and the diversity of forest zones in Canada provides us with great opportunities to explore and play in the outdoors. Canada has always been a huge landmass with a small population. This contributes to a culture that values outdoor experiences like going to the cottage, or camping, hiking or canoeing. We need this value to spread in order to engage more children in the outdoors. I think programs that reach out to new Canadians will be key.
I totally agree Canada has culture for outdoor activities in the wilderness, Cottage and camping etch.

But outdoor rec. do not just have to be out in the wilderness, it can be in parks, ravines, your backyard in the city as well.

Being a new Canadian from Norway (-: I find a lot of parks, ravines and beaches in the city are primarily used by non-Canadians.

In ActiveKidsClub .com we are concern about lack of outdoor play in neighborhoods school and daycare and for age group; 1-7 as Healthy Kids Canada report confirmed this as well. http://www.activehealthykids.ca/ReportCard/2010ReportCardOverview.aspx








What I do feel the lack of is outdoor play in every day both in school, daycare and









Carolyn Ross said:
In Ontario we are part of four distinct forest regions. In Southern Ontario, we live in the deciduous Carolinian forest where we find magnolia, shagbark hickory and beautiful big oak trees. A bit further north is the Great Lakes forest where cedar and pine trees are mixed in with maples and birches. North of that forest zone, is the great Boreal forest where huge white pines, red pines, black and red spruces grow. North of the Boreal is the Hudson Bay lowlands which is chracterized by scattered growth of Tamarack and Black Spruce amidst the tundra.

I think the relative abundance of wild places and the diversity of forest zones in Canada provides us with great opportunities to explore and play in the outdoors. Canada has always been a huge landmass with a small population. This contributes to a culture that values outdoor experiences like going to the cottage, or camping, hiking or canoeing. We need this value to spread in order to engage more children in the outdoors. I think programs that reach out to new Canadians will be key.

here is something that is working in Canada north of the 54th parallel - Enjoy!

http://andthisismygarden.com
What a great pic!  Thanks for this!  :)  Look forward to reading more!

hi Becs, thanks, yes, that pic shows how great the kids are and how much they enjoy their first harvest and the opportunity to have their own gardens and the guidance from their teacher.

Thank you, everyone for getting kids outside, active and reconnected with Nature. Right now the nation-wide campaign "Our Health, Our Future" has federal, provincial & territory Health Ministers discussing  childhood obesity. Next week I will be speaking at the Northern Health Conference in Thompson, Manitoba, about the success of the Mel Johnson School Gardening Project & the health, environmental and social benefits of sustainable school food gardening. Please see my web-site for more info and keep in touch!

 

 

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