As the father of a high school student, I’m well aware of the challenges last week’s school closures pose to parents. Part of the solution for me has been seeking refuge in nature.
Spending time in nature is so much more than just something to do when the malls are closed. Studies have shown getting outside can reduce stress, improve sleep, ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, increase happiness and social connectedness, boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, improve eyesight, reduce obesity and provide a host of other positive impacts.
We were thrilled to see so many Manitobans enjoying the many benefits of nature during this pandemic. We are working hard to help even more Manitobans maintain and grow this positive connection to nature.
More than 2,600 people have registered for our free Lunch and Learn webinars. We are also expanding our support for educators and parents through the Outdoor Learning Program, including a Litter Cleanup Challenge designed with remote learning in mind.
Stay tuned for even more great programming in the coming months! And for parents and caregivers, if you’re looking for more ideas on adjusting to having students at home, read this blog post by Mira Oberman, our Communications and Engagement Manager: How to Survive Yet Another Pandemic School Closure: Get Outside.
You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true — we’re in this pandemic together, and we will get through it together. We can’t wait until we can connect in person again to inspire others to Keep Manitoba Wild!
Manitoba Announces Endowment Fund for Provincial Parks
An Earth Day announcement showed that the government recognizes the importance of our parks.
The $20 million endowment fund for provincial parks announced in April 2021 is welcome news, as it will support parks infrastructure and services, which is desperately needed. We’re pleased to hear that the endowment fund will not replace funding from the provincial budget. As our parks are greatly under-resourced, we hope the insufficient provincial budget allocation for parks will be increased in concert with this new endowment fund. CPAWS will keep a close eye and report on provincial parks budgets over the coming years.
In this blog post, learn more about what this fund could mean for Manitoba's parks.
Connect Kids to Nature with Our Student Litter Cleanup Challenge
Help kids learn the value of public service and protecting the environment with the CPAWS Manitoba Student Litter Cleanup Challenge! The program can work well as a remote learning activity. We’ve prepared all the materials you need to create a fun and educational opportunity for children to get outside and help make their neighbourhood a healthier place to live.
The challenge, which runs until June 16, 2021, is open to all schools, daycares and youth groups in Manitoba. To participate remotely, students simply need to send a photo to their teacher of their litter cleanup, and the teacher will submit the class's entry. Find all the details, including the interactive video lesson, in this blog post. Please share this with the educators in your life!
Camping 101 Webinar: From Car Camping to Backcountry
While Manitobans flock to parks this summer for camping adventures, it’s important to ensure we are all camping responsibly for a safe, enjoyable experience for ourselves and for others.
In our Camping 101 webinar on May 28 at noon, Sloan Cathcart, Head of Interpretation with Manitoba Parks, will discuss tips, etiquette and basic rules for camping, including how to effectively follow the principles of Leave No Trace.
One webinar participant will win a CPAWS Manitoba shirt — perfect for camping adventures!
Register for free on Eventbrite. All upcoming webinars are posted on our Speaker Series page.
Support Indigenous-led Conservation
In the northernmost reaches of Manitoba there is a pristine expanse of tundra, wetlands and forests as vast as Nova Scotia.
CPAWS Manitoba is working with four First Nations to conserve the Seal River Watershed as an Indigenous Protected Area.
We need your help to preserve this national treasure.
Tell the provincial government to make it a priority to support the Seal River Watershed Alliance's efforts to establish one of the largest protected areas in Canada. Go to this link to send a letter.
Need-to-Know Nature News
Here are some of the articles that have caught our attention recently:
- CPAWS Manitoba was included in several news stories about the $20 million endowment fund for provincial park announced on Earth Day. Read this article in the Winnipeg Free Press, this article by Global TV, this article by Radio-Canada and watch this clip (starting at 8:20) in French from Radio-Canada's nightly newscast.
- Nearly all trails and backcountry water routes in provincial parks and other areas south of Thompson are closed due to wildfire risk. CTV News Winnipeg interviewed CPAWS Manitoba about the closures. Read the article and watch the news clip at this link.
- A new study shows natural sounds can have wide-ranging positive effects. Even listening to recorded nature sounds or nature sounds in urban parks where traffic noise is present does the trick! Learn more in this article from CBC's Quirks & Quarks.
- Assiniboine Park has long provided visitors the chance to commune with nature and escape the stresses of urban life. Read this history and commentary on Assiniboine Park in the Winnipeg Free Press.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with all the latest happenings in nature news!
Yours in Conservation,