Katy Fulton from the Nature Conservancy of Canada

City kids get wild in nature

George Jay and Tilicum elementary school students got out of the classroom to experience nature firsthand

A group of city kids got out of the classroom for a day to explore, discover and learn about nature.

Victoria resident Conan Webb created the Wild to Child program to get kids excited about the outdoors.

“I’m really passionate about nature, and I see a lot of kids growing up in the city not really having access to it,” said Webb.

Around 40 Grade 1 and 2 students from George Jay and Tilicum elementary schools went to the Matson Lands Conservation Area in Esquimalt on Thursday.

They participated in four activity stations, led by the Royal B.C. Museum, Habitat Acquisition Trust and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Prior to the event, the kids visited the Royal B.C. Museum’s wildlife photography exhibit and had classroom visits from the Nature Conservancy.

While at the Matson Lands, they learned to take photos themselves and explored different natural habitats through scavenger hunts and other activities.

“It’s really to create leaders for a sustainable future by getting our young learners out to experience nature so that they can build that affinity with it, that link, that appreciation,” said Webb. “So as they grow up and become leaders in our community, they’ll have that link, and that will help to shape their decisions around what they do. I worry what sorts of decisions our future leaders will be making if they don’t have that link with nature.”

Winona Waldron, Grade 1 teacher at George Jay, said it was fantastic to see the kids’ energy as they played and explored outside.

“Kids spend so much time on screens now, and are so connected to that world. To get them out into nature where the play is not controlled or regimented, where they’re inventing play of their own in a natural environment, really shifts their ideas about the world,” she said. “The amount of learning I saw happening was huge.”

Jill Robinson, stewardship coordinator at Habitat Acquisition Trust, helped organize and run the scavenger hunt at the Matson Lands, which is owned by HAT.

“For a lot of kids, if they don’t have that exposure, that experience with natural areas, they just don’t have an appreciation or a value for our natural ecosystems,” she said. “That ‘s important to engrain in them, this value for nature. So in years to come, when they’re taking care of the land, that’s something that’s important to them.”

The students’ photographs and artwork of their time at the Matson Lands will be presented at the Royal B.C. Museum’s Wonder Sunday family event on May 31.

 

Just Posted

Three children to run Victoria as ‘Mayors’ on Tuesday

Local kids will be honorary mayors for a day

Langford man sentenced to 15 months for child pornography collection

Andre Mollon sentenced for posession of more than 1,000 child pornography images and 70 videos

Victoria Police Department’s K9s help make three arrests

Police Services Dogs Alpha and Zender have had a busy few weeks

Victoria crash threatens shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

Delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

Saanich police arrest suspected purse snatcher after witness tracks him down

Man known to police attempted to steal the purses from Red Robin restaurant

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Sentencing begins for indecent caller

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read