We have recently spoken with three child development experts about this question, beginning with renowned counsellor, scientist and storyteller, Dr. Deborah MacNamara, along with early childhood education college instructors, Candiss Brown and Nika Jibrael. According to all three, play is where it all begins.
Do you know a 15 to 18-year-old that might love the outdoors and servicing the community? Then WILD Outside is calling! This free national program was launched by the Canadian Wildlife Federation in 2020 and is funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Service Corps.
The program is designed to encourage a love of conservation and volunteering by offering a balance between fun outdoor activities and meaningful community service projects. Check out what WILD Outside will be getting up to in the Victoria and Vancouver area this summer! To join in as a participant or an adult volunteer, head over to WILDOutside.ca (logistical details for events will be sent to participants after registration). No experience is necessary and activity fees, training and equipment are included.
10 things to do a WILD OUTSIDE!
Kick off the summer and beat the heat with the WILD Outside paddleboarding event. The team will be exploring and learning about Canada’s waterways!
- Creating a community pollinator garden
The WILD Outside team has been building and maintaining community gardens that help support local pollinator populations.
- Trail Hiking
It wouldn’t be summer without a chance to hike through BC’s most beautiful trails. The WILD Outside team hikes throughout the year, whether that’s under Douglas Firs at Lighthouse Park or climbing Mt. Seymour for a breathtaking view of Vancouver.
- Storm Drain Marking
Storm drains often connect to local bodies of water. The WILD Outside team will be marking storm drains to let people know that only water should go down storm drains!
- Star Gazing and watching the Perseid Meteor Shower
WILD Outside participants will enjoy a lovely evening star gazing and watching the Perseid meteor shower, considered the best meteor show of the year. Under the night sky, participants will also learn about the importance of dark skies for animals.
- Everett Crowley Park Invasive Species Removal
Partnering with the Everett Crowley Park Committee, the WILD Outside team will be removing the Himalayan Blackberry, an aggressive invasive species that push out native plants and shrubs. Taking out these destructive plants is an important way to rebalance the ecosystem.
- Dragon Boating
Nothing says summer fun like a day on the water with friends! This summer, you can bet the WILD Outside team will be going dragon boating.
- Nighttime Kayaking
Kayak under the light of the moon with the WILD Outside team. With a professional guide and with kayaks fitted with lights, learn to appreciate nocturnal wildlife, and experience the waters as never before!
- Harbourview Park Cleanup
The WILD Outside crew often visit Harbourview Park to help restore the shoreline habitat, either to remove invasive species or to plant new native species in their place. Either way, the team always has fun visiting the beautiful Harbourview Park.
- Visit the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
In collaboration with OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation) Centre, the WILD Outside team will be helping with facility maintenance such as building gardens or doing yard work to keep the place beautiful. The team sees and learns about some amazing birds every time they visit!
Get ready to have an amazing time outside, meet friends, gain new experiences and skills, and explore new passions with WILD Outside. The program will also continue in the fall and throughout the year with more great weekend and evening events. For more information head over to WILD Outside.ca.
Samantha Mills is the Marketing Manager for the CCC and Wild Outside programs, she lives in London, Ontario and studied Communications at the University of Waterloo.
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