Celebrating the Awe, Peace and Beauty of Nature and the Outdoors
Reminiscing about treks up their favourite mountain trials, campfire stories and camaraderie, Mrs. Laureen Harper and Minister Rona Ambrose shared their hiking adventures and love of the outdoors with guests at our recent Women for Nature celebration held at Parliament Hill as part of Nature Canada’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The featured speakers put on a great talk with humorous stories and endearing photos of their group hiking adventures. They both understand the physical and mental benefits of spending time in nature and support our efforts to connect more Canadians to nature. We were delighted to honour Mrs. Harper as our 75th founding member of our Women for Nature initiative, and welcome Minister Ambrose as our 76th founding member, joining their fellow members in championing our efforts to connect more kids and families to nature. The Honourable Carolyn Bennett and MP Elizabeth May also spoke and reflected on the value of spending more time in nature and the benefits it brings to people. Andrea Jalbert from TransCanada and Andrew deVries from Sustainable Forestry Initiative also shared similar stories of the hours spent in their youth enjoying wildlife and nature that helped shape their passion and led to professional careers as biologists working in wildlife conservation and sustainability.
Encouraging our children and grandchildren to be in nature is critical for a healthy society. It’s not often that such a diverse group of leaders come together over an issue this dynamic, and
fundamental to our daily lives. But it is encouraging to see and as Women for Nature grows and enhances support for Nature Canada’s efforts to engage with young budding nature lovers, the numbers of young Canadians spending time in nature will keep going up and up and up. Our Executive Director, Eleanor Fast thanked the guests and especially the “Women for Nature” in
attendance for their commitment and support of our NatureHood efforts. She also announced that we will expand the program into fifteen cities by 2017 with our members support.
As a reminder of the beautiful wildlife in nature all around us, guests enjoyed meeting “Apollo” a Red-tailed Hawk and learned more about this bird species. Apollo had visited over 1500 school children earlier that day and will be featured again at our upcoming Bird Day celebrations in Ottawa this May.
A special thanks to Senator Johnson, the Honourary Chair of Women for Nature, Senator Nancy Green Raine and several Members of Parliament, MP Stella Ambler, MP Linda Duncan, MP Kirsty Duncan, and MP Joyce Murray who sponsored this event. As well we are so thankful for the generous support of TransCanada, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the Royal Bank, Rogers Communications, The Printing House, Taste with Stace, Estate Winery & Cider Co and Agents of Good that helped make this Women for Nature/75th anniversary celebration possible.