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Our 1-day Summit on Connecting to Nature in an Urban World, April 19, features a morning plenary and roundtable sessions followed by interactive workshops and walkshops in the afternoon. Building on the Summit is our Conference, April 20-21, featuring keynotes speakers, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities.

Please note: Schedules are now locked from being changed. If you would like to make changes to your schedule, please come see us at the registration desk. See you in Vancouver!

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Action Labs Walkshops and Workshops [clear filter]
Friday, April 21
 

9:45am

Walkshop: Dancing (with) Nature: How young student teachers help children to build community and connect with nature though Interdisciplinary Dance
Limited Capacity seats available

Many young, student elementary teachers are concerned about studies linking time spent indoors and away from nature with obesity, hyperactivity and other learning problems in children. At Quebec's Sherbrooke University, an optional course in Interdisciplinary Dance is offered to regular fourth-year elementary student teachers to learn how to teach all the school subjects through movement and dance. Loosely based on the principles of “Dance your PhD,” the intention of the course is that, by regularly bringing the dance outside and into the natural world, the dancers are allowed to literally travel though time and space all the while forming a bond between themselves and connecting with nature. This workshop will involve dancing the water cycle, exploring the land freely as hunter-gatherers and building community though dance and nature.

Max Capacity: 20

Speakers
avatar for Anne Catherine McConnell

Anne Catherine McConnell

Lecturer, University of Sherbrooke
Anne Catherine McConnell lectures to students in the Elementary Education Department at Sherbrooke University. Her courses often involve hands on learning, adapting education to the special needs of children and teaching across the curriculum that is, linking different subjects together... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: Designing a Natural Playground
Limited Capacity filling up

‘Designing a Natural Playground’ will cover what a natural playground is, why it is important, the most relevant data and research, and some of the best examples of natural playgrounds from around the world. Most importantly, participants will be able to create their own natural playground designs, present their models to the group and receive feedback from experts guiding them through the entire experiential process. We will start off the design by using 5 basic elements: changing topography; creating pathways; adding boulders; logs; and large trees. Next, natural playground components will be included in the designs to create areas that include art/creative play, dramatic play, science concepts, and areas that enhance social skills and collaboration. To close out the session, participants will join in a goal-setting exercise.

Max Capacity: 50

Speakers
avatar for Adam Bienenstock

Adam Bienenstock

Founder & Principal Designer, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds
“Connecting children to nature when and where they play” | Adam is an award winning consultant on design, construction, policy, risk and regulatory process for connecting children to nature in our cities. His partners and clients include Parks Canada, ParticipACTION, Right to... Read More →

Sponsors

Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: Exploring Our Places Together: Using "Exploration Roles" to Create Outdoor Learning Content
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Join students of the Pender Island Ecological Education Community (PEEC) as we immerse in the discovery and facilitation of more than two-dozen “Exploration Roles” designed to encourage outdoor learners to experience and respond to the world through a variety of place-based adventures. Exploring side-by-side with grade 4-9 students, you’ll discover first-hand how small groups of learners can collaborate and embark on an exploration of their surroundings to become aware, observe, record, process, create and reflect. Each group will share in the responsibility of fulfilling their various roles by designing a hands-on, minds-on learning activity centered on one aspect of their place, then sharing their work and understanding with others at the end of the exploration period. Exploration Roles dis"cover" many different parts of the provincial curriculum, integrating language arts, science, fine arts, math, social studies, fine arts, physical education and personal planning goals and objectives. More importantly, we have found that they can lead to the development of learners who are curious, responsible, active, thoughtful, creative, positive, knowledgeable, considerate and respectful of themselves, others and their surroundings.

Speakers
avatar for Steve Dunsmuir

Steve Dunsmuir

Ecological Educator, School District 64 Gulf Islands
Steve Dunsmuir is a teacher in the Pender Ecological Education Community (PEEC) and was also the founder and principal educator at the Saturna Ecological Education Centre (SEEC) high school program and the Middle Years Shared Ecological Education Community (MYSEEC) on Salt Spring... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: From Infants to Grandparents: Nurturing Wonder-full Ecological Literacy in a Single Program
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Research shows that adults who care about nature and take action to protect it have spent a significant amount of their childhood playing in nature. Why is that? Is it the time spent outdoors, or just playing, that is an important factor in inspiring conservation? What roles do curiosity, learning facts and the self-discovery play? Building a relationship with nature is more than just learning the names of trees, bugs and birds. These simple terms don't represent nature's complexity, but may inspire curiosity and serve as a tool for future learning. Relationships, whether to humans or to nature, flourish best with attention, thoughtfulness, respect and love. In thid session we will discuss educational strategies and present a myriad of fun, interactive ways for all family members to deepen their relationship to the natural world, in hopes for a beneficial future for all.

We will demonstrate a family program ​called "Wild Things" ​that has been exploring nature ​in nearby parks ​every week​, all year round,​ for seven years. ​You will learn about this program from the provider, Holly Roger, as well as through the unique perspective of a founding and frequent participant, Nicole Junell. "​Wild Things" is designed to foster participants' relationships with nature and each other, and encourages all participants to learn about, and respectfully engage with, nature at a level that is appropriate for their age. In this walking workshop in Stanley Park, we will share our games, ​​educational strategies ​for structuring seasonal and safe programs, ​and techniques for engaging age-diverse participants.​ ​Bring your tips for fostering a sense of wonder and connection to nature​, and b​e prepared for playing and exploring outdoors!

Max Capacity: 20 

Speakers
avatar for Nicole Junell

Nicole Junell

Founding Member, Wild Things, Wild Whatcom
I am a founding mama of the Wild Things program, as I showed up at the park in the rain with my six month old baby in a carrier. Why? Because I wanted to be more of a nature nerd than my husband. That was nearly 7 years ago, and I've been a frequent flyer of this program. I can give... Read More →
avatar for Holly Roger

Holly Roger

Community Programs Coordinator, Wild Whatcom
I've been wondering about bugs and birds for as long as I can remember. I read field guides for fun and as bedtime stories to my kids. Nature is my source for continual inspiration, connection and reflection, and my laboratory for observation, exploration, investigation and play... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: Like Wildfire! The Model of Public School in the Forest Sparked in Vermont
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

In 2013, two teachers in a small socio-economically diverse school in Vermont, USA took their kindergarten class outside one day, every week, all year. Three years later, dozens of classrooms across the country follow a similar model. Join this session to experience the flow of our outdoor day and learn that you too can take your class outside to play and learn. We'll follow our outdoor routines(sit-spots, morning meeting, teacher stations and more) and discuss the infrastructure (toilets! fires!) and gear that we use. We'll do this all outside, come with appropriate clothing and enthusiasm!

Max Capacity: 20 

Speakers
avatar for Eliza Minnucci

Eliza Minnucci

Kindergarten Teacher / Forest Educator, Forest Kinder
Eliza Minnucci, formally a pre-K and K teacher for ten years, is currently a full-time mom and a part-time forest teacher in Vermont, USA. In 2013 she founded the Ottauquechee School Forest Kindergarten Program in which she took her public school students outside one day, every week... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: Mystery on the Trails: Events with Impact
Limited Capacity seats available

As nature lovers and advocates, it is a dream to hear the words “this is better than a video game!” said at an outdoor event. This happened to us at Metro Vancouver Regional Parks… and it can happen for you too! We’ve discovered that trail-based, station style family events make spending time in nature fun, accessible and creates lasting impacts. This walkshop will use our Critter Capers event series as example of how this style of event works.

Now is your chance become the detective, solve the mystery, and experience Critter Capers through the eyes of a visitor. Learn from our trials and triumphs and discuss how you can use a similar style of events to connect families with nature.

Max Capacity: 40

Speakers
avatar for Michelle Duncan

Michelle Duncan

Park Interpretation Leader, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks
Michelle Duncan is the Park Interpretation Leader for Metro Vancouver Regional Parks. She plans interpretive nature-based events, facilitates professional development workshops, park tours and field trips. She has been on the executive of Interpretation Canada BC Conference for... Read More →
avatar for Melissa Holloway

Melissa Holloway

Park Interpretation Leader, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks
Melissa Holloway is a west coast native, spending her childhood in the forest and on the beach. These experiences led her to a career as a nature Interpreter and for the last 11 years, Melissa has been developing programs and events that connect children to nature. Melissa has shared... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: Outdoor Classroom 2.: What Can the Forest School Ethos Look like in Traditional Schoolyards?
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

"We know the why, what's the how?" Participants will get a primer on, participate in, and take a few minutes to work together on their own prototype of highly participatory, stimulating, ecological learning activities that can be conducted in a traditional schoolyard.
Looking at the equipment, props and resources from the Calgary Board of Education's Outdoor Classroom 2.0 pilot program, we will address the the complexities and roadblocks that restrict students and school staff from leaving school property and cosider if the ethos of forest school can genuinely live in a schoolyard. This session focuses on mobile equipment and pedagogy necessary to create activities to make schoolyards come alive during the school day in any weather or season.

Max Capacity: 20

Speakers
avatar for Paul Kelba

Paul Kelba

Consultant, Calgary Board of Education
@PaulKelba | #enviroed #susty #playoutdoors #outdoorlearning


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: Risky Play: Part 2
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Part Two: Friday [Prerequisite Wednesday workshop]
This workshop is designed as an exploration of the tools and practical resources needed to support children to safely navigating risk in their outdoor play. We will use the ‘Risk Benefit Assessment Framework” being used by Forest School Canada, a program of the Child and Nature Alliance. Practical suggestions and stories will be used to enhance participants understanding of HOW we begin to accept and support risk in children’s play, while still maintaining our ‘duty of care’. This workshop is ideal for nature-based educators, early childhood educators, professionals in the recreation and camping sector, community developers, parents, playworkers and grandparents.

Max Capacity: 30

Speakers
avatar for Marlene Power

Marlene Power

Executive Director, Child and Nature Alliance of Canada
Marlene Power founded the Carp Ridge Forest Preschool, Canada’s first outdoor, nature-based Forest Preschool, and created Forest School Canada, a national initiative to promote nature-based education through Forest School training, policy and research. Marlene first developed Forest... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: The Art of Nature: Using Art to Build a Conservation Ethic
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

Are you looking to explore and capture the beauty of nature through the arts? Throughout this session, we will explore incorporating nature journaling into your programming to instill an appreciation for, and understanding of, the natural world. Additionally, you will learn how working with pastel, pencil and unique art techniques can enhance a nature experience. Through this hands-on session, registrants will learn how to help youth develop their observation and drawing skills, as well as think critically about the artistic process.

Max Capacity: 20 

Speakers
avatar for Marlis Eaton

Marlis Eaton

Education Supervisor, Calgary Parks
CH

Chris Hicks

Program Advisor, City of Calgary


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: The Nature Playbook – Take Action to Connect a New Generation of Canadians with Nature
Limited Capacity seats available

Connecting a new generation with nature can be a complex challenge, so where do we start? The Nature Playbook project comes from the belief that no single person, policy, government department, organization, or program can do it alone. There are endless ways to connect with nature, as many ways as there are people in the world. The Nature Playbook emphasizes the importance of everyone knowing themselves, and connecting on their own terms.

The creators behind The Nature Playbook want to work with CNC 2017 attendees on the quest to reach outside traditional spheres of parks and conservation, to share our message with a wider audience. In this outdoor, interactive session, we will work together to come up with new ways to embody a culture-changing mindset, and tackle this challenge together as a team.

Max Capacity:40

Moderator
avatar for Chloe Dragon Smith

Chloe Dragon Smith

Connecting a New Generation with Nature, Canadian Parks Council
Chloe Dragon Smith is a young Metis woman from the small northern city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Her nature-filled upbringing shaped her values today. Today, Chloe holds a degree in Earth Science from the University of Victoria. While educated in Science, she is keenly... Read More →

Speakers
GC

Guylaine Chabot

Professor, Université du Québec en Outaouais
avatar for Bill Kilburn

Bill Kilburn

Program Manager, Back to Nature Network
Bill Kilburn is the leader of the Back to Nature Network, Ontario’s provincial organization representing the international children and nature movement. Among achievements, Bill co-chaired the creation of the Ontario Children’s Outdoor Charter with Ontario’s provincial government... Read More →
avatar for Samantha Matters

Samantha Matters

Outreach Coordinator, TELUS World of Science - Edmonton
I am an environmental scientist with a passion for education! Currently working as an outreach educator, I am also a member of the Canadian Parks Council working group that has created The Nature Playbook; a guide for connecting youth with Nature. Drawing on my previous experience... Read More →
avatar for Chúk Odenigbo

Chúk Odenigbo

Étudiant à la maîtrise, Université de Montréal
As an aspiring change-maker, I have been working with the Canadian Parks Council on creating a Nature Playbook with the aim of reconnecting the current generation with nature. As a result of this work, I attended the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, where I met some incredible... Read More →
DT

Denis Thibeault

Counselor, Cariboo Action Training Society


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside

9:45am

Walkshop: Workshopping Barriers while Walking
Limited Capacity seats available

 In this walking walkshop, we work in pairs and small groups, discussing the barriers your communities may face in connecting to nature. While many of the barriers will be obvious to us, our biases may hide some barriers from us. We'll brainstorm and discuss those hidden, or not-so-obvious barriers, along with many promising solutions. There will be a focus on those solutions that empower and build community capacity to connect young people to nature in culturally relevant ways.

Max Capacity: 40

Speakers
avatar for Alison Paul

Alison Paul

Youth Conservation Action Manager, The Field Museum of Natural History
Alison Paul is an environmental educator, outdoor enthusiast, and The Field Museum's Youth Conservation Action Manager. Alison has more than a decade of experience working in formal and informal educational settings from Colombia to Chicago in order to support the next generation... Read More →


Friday April 21, 2017 9:45am - 11:45am
Outside