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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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Summit on Nature for an Urban World [clear filter]
Wednesday, April 19
 

10:00am

Community Based Partnerships: Connecting with Your Local Zoo or Aquarium
Limited Capacity filling up

Join us as we walk over to the Vancouver Aquarium to learn about how you can team up with your local zoo or aquarium to offer unique opportunities to connect children with nature in your community. As connecting to nature has become a priority for zoos and aquariums, community partnership opportunites abound. You will learn about the exciting nature play programs for families available through the Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium initiative — and then you can experience it first-hand at the aquarium. (The Association of Zoos & Aquarium’s initiative, Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium is supported by the Walt Disney Company.) 

Max Capacity: 40

Speakers
SC

Stephanie Chong

Coordinator, Curriculum Programs, Vancouver Aquarium
My current interests are in inquiry-based learning, both in curricular and non-curricular programming in museum settings. I am passionate about increasing science literacy for students, families, and communities, particularly through conservation, stewardship, and citizen-scientist... Read More →
avatar for Heidi Faris

Heidi Faris

Chair, MN Children & Nature Connection
Heidi Faris is the Nature Play Begins Grant Coordinator for AZA, serving on the AZA Nature Club Task Force Committee. Heidi received her MEd. in EE with a focus on Fostering Attitudes of Empathy in Children through Play Experiences in a Zoo Setting. Over the past 10 years she connected... Read More →
avatar for Megan Malaska Medley

Megan Malaska Medley

Curator of Bronx Zoo Education, Wildlife Conservation Society - Bronx Zoo
Megan Malaska Medley is the Manager of Bronx Zoo Education, part of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). She has worked at the Cape May County Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo, and SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort before returning to WCS as Manager of Education at the Prospect... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 10:00am - 12:00pm
Vancouver Aquarium

1:00pm

Walkshop: Conducting an Outdoor Learning Resource Inventory at Your School
Limited Capacity seats available

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

In this workshop, participants will explore basic theory around outdoor and experiential learning, including how outdoor learning and outdoor education differ. Participants will venture outdoors to conduct an audit of outdoor spaces and consider how these spaces may be used by teachers (in/no/formal) for outdoor learning experiences to tie into the curriculum and pedagogy. By the end of the workshop, participants shall be prepared to return to their own schools, or learning contexts, and conduct an outdoor learning resource inventory with students, teachers, and administrators.

Max Capacity: 40

Speakers
HB

Hartley Banack

Lecturer, Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of Education, UBC


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Emammal: Exploring Nature with Students through Camera Trapping
Limited Capacity seats available

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

Curriculum-linked, outdoor, citizen science projects offer the dual benefits of getting students outside exploring, and increasing their academic achievements. The project eMammal takes students outside, exploring places to position camera traps in forest patches within local neighborhoods. They predict animal species, observe cover, and look for signs of human impact. Later, students retrieve the camera, download the images, and identify the animals photographed. After sharing images to a database, students ask deeper questions about the natural world, leading them back to reposition the camera. Project participants gain a deep understanding of their local natural world and become supporters of conservation efforts. Join us to try your hand at positioning a camera trap, examining camera trap images and exploring the outdoors near the conference site. This group, featuring a scientist, a teacher using the project, and a museum educator, will provide concrete examples from eMammal across North Carolina, India, and Mexico, over the past 3 years. This project can be used as a model for new curriculum linked to outdoor activities as well as curriculum being implemented in other settings such as parks and backyards.

Max Capacity: 40

Speakers
avatar for Elizabeth D. Baird

Elizabeth D. Baird

Chief, School and Lifelong Education, NC Museum of Natural Sciences
avatar for Cathy Belair

Cathy Belair

Teacher, Valley Springs Middle School
Experiential education is essential to students' learning. Discovering concepts through guided exploration and self-reflection is effective and builds long-term understanding. Spending time outdoors is good for the body, mind and soul and needs to be a priority among educators.
avatar for Stephanie Schuttler

Stephanie Schuttler

Postdoctoral Research Associate, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Stephanie Schuttler is a mammalogist with strong interests in animal behavior, molecular, and movement ecology, especially applied research that impacts the conservation of threatened and endangered species. She is working with North Carolina teachers under the Students Discover program... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Hands-On Stewardship: Service Project at Stanely Park
Limited Capacity seats available

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

The Stanley Park Ecological Society and C&NN's Natural Leaders invite you to join us in hands-on stewardship! By participating in this volunteer service project, you will learn about and make an important contribution to habitat and wildlife conservation efforts in Stanley Park, all while working in a beautiful outdoor setting. You will learn about Vancouver's invasive species and the important role of invasive species management. Most importantly, you will take action to promote biodiversity, creating valuable habitat for native wildlife by removing invasive species.

Max Capacity: 30

Speakers
avatar for CJ Goulding

CJ Goulding

Program Manager, Chldren & Nature Network
CJ is a passionate, creative, and energetic professional working to develop connections in and between people, and the connection between communities and the outdoors. As the Lead Organizer for the Natural Leaders Network, he strives to support a national network of over 330 millenial... Read More →
avatar for Kari Pocock

Kari Pocock

Stewardship Coordinator, Stanley Park Ecology Society
Kari is the Stewardship Coordinator with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES), where her passion for environmental sustainability and collaborative problem-solving drives her to connect people with nature through mindful stewardship and creative engagement. She studied Environmental... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Hands-on-Nature Anarchy Play
Limited Capacity filling up

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

Ever hear of those wild "adventure playgrounds" of Europe filled with loose parts, mud, fire, playworkers, and mess? Well, we’ve created a pop-up version in the nearby park and you are invited to get messy with us! Together we can build forts and dens, fairy huts and gnome homes, nature sculptures, obstacle courses and more with a variety of easy-to-come-by natural materials like logs, stumps, dirt, leaves, etc. You’ll remember how fun it is to be free and creative with natural stuff and see how easy it can be to create low-cost nature play zones like this for the children in your own community. We’ll also talk about the benefits of risk in play and how you can find new ways to say "yes" to children’s adventurous play in nature.

Max Capacity: 40 

Speakers
avatar for Rusty Keeler

Rusty Keeler

Earthplay
Over the past 20 years, Rusty Keeler has worked with hundreds of community, school, parks, university, and child care leaders to dream, design, and construct beautiful outdoor environments for children in more than 30 states and throughout Canada, Europe, China, Australia, and New... Read More →

Sponsors

Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Hike it Baby Urban Stroll Experience
Limited Capacity seats available

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

Hike it Baby is an organization dedicated to getting families with birth to school age on trails and into parks from the youngest age possible. Our crowdsourced hike experience can be found in 300 cities around North America. The structure of the hikes create a safe and supported hiking experience for everyone with babies and little children to get outdoors. We support freeunstructured play and creative outdoor experiences with little ones.

For the Children & Nature Network Hike it Baby experience we will be doing a 4KM urban stroll/hike to Stanley Park. This will be lead by Hike it Baby Founder, Shanti Hodges and local Hike it Baby Branch Ambassadors Yazmin Vasquez and Catherine Gutzbrenner.

Max Capacity: 25 

Speakers
avatar for Shanti Hodges

Shanti Hodges

Founder, Hike it Baby
A few years ago I had a baby and suddenly I found myself on a new path in life and I realized I had to make new friends quickly. But how does one make new friends with a newborn in tow? I asked a few women to hike with me and then more and more showed up every week. Now I have a network... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Indigenous Plant Use
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

Walk through the forest with an experienced First Nation guide of Coast Salish descent and learn about the traditional and present-day indigenous relationships with local flora and fauna. While there will be no collecting on these tours, Vancouver's Stanley Park offers a perfect setting to learn about sustainable harvesting. Join us on this walking tour to nurture yourself with nature and harmonize your well-being with the natural world.

Max Capacity: 20 

Speakers
avatar for Lauraleigh Paul

Lauraleigh Paul

First Nations Ecology Programmer, Stanley Park Ecology Society
Lauraleigh is of Coast Salish, Interior Salish, and Carrier First Nations descent.  In spring 2016, Lauraleigh joined SPES via her environmental monitoring practicum.  She passionately offers us her invaluable indigenous life experiences and integral teachings about Coast Salish... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Nature Education throughout the Seasons
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

The average child spends more than seven and a half hours in front of a glowing screen and less than 20 minutes per day engaged in unstructured outdoor play. Children today are more likely to remember the names of dozens of corporate logos than to identify even just a few local plant and mammal species. In this interactive workshop, educators Drew Monkman and Jacob Rodenburg will offer up examples of fun, hands-on strategies for reconnecting children to nature throughout each of the seasons. We’ll dance like bees, sing like frogs and learn how to become "bird whisperers.” These are just some of the ideas that can be found in Monkman and Rodenburg’s award winning new “Big Book of Nature Activities,”which will be featured in this workshop.

Max Capacity: 40

Speakers
avatar for Drew Monkman

Drew Monkman

Nature writer
Drew Monkman (dmonkman1@cogeco.ca) is a retired French immersion teacher, naturalist and writer whose nature column, “Our Changing Seasons,” appears regularly in the Peterborough Examiner. He is the author of three books. Two explore what is happening in the natural world each... Read More →
avatar for Jacob Rodenburg

Jacob Rodenburg

Executive Director, Camp Kawartha & the Camp Kawartha Outdoor Education Centre
Jacob is the Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, an award winning outdoor education centre and summer camp. He holds a teaching certificate and a Master’s in Education. Jacob has worked in the field of outdoor education and camping for more than 25 years. Jacob received the Ontario... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Risky Play: Part 1
Limited Capacity full
Adding this to your schedule will put you on the waitlist.

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

This will be a valuable, introductory, two-part workshop for anyone who views children as competent, curious and capable and hopes to bring this value into how they support children’s outdoor play, with it’s inherent risks.This workshop is ideal for nature-based educators, early childhood educators, professionals in the recreation and camping sector, community developers, parents, playworkers, and grandparents.

Part One (Wednesday): The first workshop will focus on the evidence-base and philosophy of risk in children’s outdoor play. We will define “risky play”, examine the benefits of children having freedom in their play from an evidence-based perspective, and explore our ‘duty of care’ while supporting children to navigate risk. Part Two (Friday): [Prerequisite Wednesday workshop]

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 →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Stanley Park: Restoration Highlights
Limited Capacity filling up

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

Take a tour of highlights of the restoration work taking place in Stanley Park including a mowed lawn-turned-wetland and a restored stand of native trees in the heart of the park. Your hosts, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, will take you on a five km (three miles) loop past iconic ocean vistas and ecologically significant features in Vancouver's most well-known park.

Max Capacity: 20

Speakers
DM

Dana McDonald

Environmental Stewardship Coordinator, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
NP

Nick Page

Biologist, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: The Floating Classroom: Academic Engagement through Outdoor Learning
Limited Capacity seats available

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

This workshop will help educators explore the options for integrating outdoor education with traditional classroom learning in their own communities. Wilderness Inquiry offers outdoor learning programs to schools, and works with districts and teachers to offer academic credit for students. Students deficient in content-area coursework engage with materials through outdoor place-based learning to recover missing credits in math, science, English, social studies, and physical education. Workshop attendees will learn strategies to implement outdoor education and work with schools/districts to develop place-based curricula. 

Max Capacity: 40 

Speakers
avatar for Meg Krueger

Meg Krueger

Wilderness Inquiry, Wilderness Inquiry
Meg Krueger is the Education Programs Manager at Wilderness Inquiry, a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Meg has over ten years of experience in education and a lifetime love for outdoor adventures; she has found a happy marriage of the two through her work... Read More →
avatar for Julie Storck

Julie Storck

Associate Director, Wilderness Inquiry
Julie Storck is the Associate Director for Wilderness Inquiry leading development and program initiatives to make the outdoors accessible to all. She brings great perspective to the intersection of education, inclusion, and the outdoors. In addition to her work at Wilderness Inquiry... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop: Youth-Led Nature Adventures
Limited Capacity seats available

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

Scouts Canada offers youth from ages 5 to 26 opportunities to experience new things, have more adventures, and develop into confident and capable individuals better prepared for success in the world. Discover the simplicity of how we engage youth in "Learn by Doing" activities. Some of which are STEM-based while others are focused on self-exploration of our natural world and how youth understand their role within it. 

Max Capacity: 40

Speakers
avatar for Marc Chamberland

Marc Chamberland

Director of Program development, Scouts Canada
Having worked with children and youth since my teen years. I always love to hep our young people find a passion for the outdoors. As a scouter, I find myself lucky to help create a movement of youth inspiring other youth to get outside!
avatar for Caitlyn Piton

Caitlyn Piton

National Youth Commissioner, Scouts Canada
I am 23 years old and the National Youth Commissioner for Scouts Canada. I also Chair the National Youth Network and am an Officer on the Board of Governors. I'm currently working towards a degree in Child and Youth Care and plan on pursuing Child Protection. I believe in the power... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside

1:00pm

Walkshop:The CHANGE Adventure Camp - Building Life Skills by Going Outside
Limited Capacity filling up

"Walkshops" and workshops provide hands-on opportunities to learn strategies and techniques for connecting urban children to nature.

In the past, children and adults would spend several hours each week outdoors. This is no longer the case. The lure of technology and television, combined with longer work hours and busier schedules has created a problem. The CHANGE Adventure Camp was created to re-connect families with nature and each other through a range of outdoor adventure activities. During this highly interactive session, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the best of a CHANGE Adventure. Results of the evaluation and resources will be shared. Come outside and find your adventure!

Max Capacity: 25

Speakers
avatar for Doug Klein

Doug Klein

Family Physician
I am a family physician and researcher with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada. I am interested in the area of nutrition, physical activity and the health benefits of nature for both children and adults. I currently lead the research team CHANGE... Read More →


Wednesday April 19, 2017 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Outside