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Shirley Hunt
  • Guelph
  • Canada
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Focus on Nature
In 2008 I developed the concept for Focus on Nature with Guelph-based photographer Trina Koster to inspire young people to explore and appreciate nature through photography. The program brings local photographers and nature enthusiasts into classrooms to deliver full-day, hands-on photography workshops that include walking photography field trips to local natural areas, outdoor sensory activities, and editing and feedback discussions. We're now a non-profit charitable organization directly reaching about 2000 kids a year, and inspiring a community-wide appreciation of nature through sharing the kids' photos of nature with the community. We recently launched an exhibit called Nature Heals, that consists of 60 large plexi-glass mounted photos of nature taken by young students, now hanging in patient areas throughout Guelph General Hospital.

I recently passed on the leadership of Focus on Nature to Simon Bell to allow it to grow in new and exciting ways while I pursue a new project related to nature and health.
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Shirley Hunt's Blog

A friendly encounter with a Canada Goose (or two!)

This photograph and story were sent to me by Wendy, a participant in one of our volunteer-led pilot programs. Thought I'd share it:…


Posted on April 5, 2011 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Mushrooms and relearning to look

I spotted this community editorial written by a local university student, and I thought it should be shared. I love that the author's friend made mushrooms out of clay and copper, and hid them around a campus building to "help people relearn to look." The author and his friend, like many of us, are aware of how society has lost touch with the environment and are sharing their concern through writing and art. Well done!…


Posted on March 30, 2011 at 8:29am

The National Parks Project

I'm very excited about an innovative project created by Parks Canada and Discovery World to recognize the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada. The National Parks Project sent 39 Canadian musicians and 13 filmmakers into 13 national parks to discover their incredible beauty and to celebrate it through film and music. I missed the first part, airing on DiscoveryWorld last night at 8 pm ET but hoping to catch the next episode, and happy that it's available online: …


Posted on March 20, 2011 at 3:30pm

Prince Charles' book Harmony

The other day I happened to look in my wallet and spotted a gift certificate for our local independent bookstore. I walked by said store and there in the window was Prince Charles staring out at me from the cover of his book Harmony. I had to buy it, and wow, what a great read it's been! It's a brilliant look at present-day environmental issues as reflections of our disharmony with the natural world. It also looks back at early design and architecture, showing how inextricably connected they… Continue

Posted on March 9, 2011 at 9:50pm

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At 2:17am on December 17, 2010, Juliet Robertson said…

Hi Shirley


I have to confess that my heart gave a wee leap when I saw you were from Guelph. Back in the mid-Nineties, my husband and I spend a year on a teaching exchange to an outdoor centre near Orangeville.


I will rack my brains and when I find the people I'm thinking of, I'll let you know re photography outdoors. I've a funny feeling it was a couple of people who've signed up to this site too.


Best wishes


At 2:17pm on December 16, 2010, Juliet Robertson said…

Hello Shirley


Greetings from Scotland! Focus on Nature sounds super. It interests me that this is a growing activity in North America - outdoor photography for young people.


I run the International and Scotland Groups here which is one way of sharing any interesting news or information with people from around the world. Please do join up. The Natural Teachers group is also pretty active.


Best wishes



At 11:42am on November 15, 2010, Suz Lipman said…
One more idea - there is a Canadian group here, as well ..
At 11:41am on November 15, 2010, Suz Lipman said…
Hi Shirley! Welcome to the forum. I'm glad you found us. Your program sounds wonderful. I hope you'll share about it with us. You might be interested in our Natural Teachers Group, among others. Many of our members share their work through blog posts and photos. I hope you'll make yourself at home, find rich resources and camaraderie, and visit often. Cheers!

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