Saanich Parks and Recreation received a digital communications award for its Natural Intelligence campaign encouraging residents to spend more time outdoors in places like Cuthbert Holmes Park. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Saanich Parks and Recreation received a digital communications award for its Natural Intelligence campaign encouraging residents to spend more time outdoors in places like Cuthbert Holmes Park. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Saanich Parks recognized for getting green message out

Natural Intelligence campaign encouraged residents to spend more time outdoors

Saanich Parks’ Natural Intelligence campaign won first place at the 2021 Digital Communications Awards in the associations and institutions category.

Senior manager of parks, Eva Riccius, said that Natural Intelligence is a concept defined as every individual’s personal connection to the natural world around them.

“Our campaign’s aim was to increase that connection to nature using a public education and awareness approach,” she said.

In a release announcing the award, Saanich stated that research shows the average person spends approximately 11 hours per day looking at screens and only 20 minutes outdoors. As such the campaign encourages people to spend more time in nature for the emotional and physical health benefits.

ALSO READ: Saanich resident working to protect Mt. Douglas Park’s delicate ecosystems

The motto is “Less Screen Time, More Green Time.”

With an increased reliance on devices and online activities, it’s essential for people of all ages to spend more time outdoors, Coun. Judy Brownoff said, adding this campaign succeeded in encouraging people to do that.

Numbers show that from July to September 2020 park use in Saanich skyrocketed more than 150 per cent compared with previous years. That trend was similar to other parks around the region, as people scrambled to get outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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