The Bateman Foundation focused on nature’s role in Canadians’ mental wellness in 2019 and plans to take action to help the environment in 2020.
The foundation, named for Canadian wildlife artist and environmentalist Robert Bateman, acknowledged that many people around the world are feeling helpless in the face of climate change and that social media makes it hard to disconnect. He’s passionate about protecting nature and getting kids off their phones and into nature.
“Nature is magic,” Bateman said. “The more people know and fall in love with nature, the more they will care and protect her.”
In an effort to combat nature deprivation, the foundation partnered with Anxiety Canada to provide the foundation’s Nature Sketch program for 400 youths in B.C. struggling with their mental health.
Following a partnership with Trans Canada Trail, the foundation was able to bring the Nature Sketch program to people across the country. On a Saturday in September, more than 400 program attendees across Canada met up to sketch at seven different places along the trail to sketch their unique ecosystems at the same time.
The foundation has big plans for 2020. A new Natureship program will launch in Victoria in the new year. Program partners will volunteer their time to address environmental concerns in the community.
The Bateman Gallery of Nature – known as the Robert Bateman Centre until March – in downtown Victoria will be hosting Nature X series lectures every month to discuss ways to practice sustainability.
A new exhibition, Castaways, will open at the gallery in March. The exhibit features the work of 20 women as they explore the effects of material culture on the oceans. In the summer of 2020, a mixed-media exhibit called Grizzly Bear - Teachers of the Land will take over the gallery. The exhibit is part of a joint effort between the Bateman Foundation and the Grizzly Bear Foundation to help conserve grizzly bears in the province.