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Young Nature Leadership: Building of a Green Wall
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Young Nature Leadership: Building of a Green Wall

[caption id="attachment_32871" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Mathilde Papillon Mathilde Papillon[/caption] This blog was written by Young Leader Grant recipient Mathilde Papillon. On August 24, 2017, a beautiful, vibrant green wall was completed in a public high school located in Ottawa, Ontario. And it would not have been possible without Nature Canada and its Women for Nature members’ generous support. Indeed, I had been awarded earlier in the year Women for Nature’s Young Leader Grant. As co-founder of PAPLEN Education for Eco-sustainability, I am dedicated to help promote hands-on environmental education in high schools across Canada. Since 2016, PAPLEN has partnered with a variety of local environmental organizations as well as school boards to make this happen. [caption id="attachment_34845" align="alignright" width="468"]Image of a green wall Mathilde (second from the left) who lead with her classmates on this project.[/caption] The Young Leader Grant was instrumental in bringing to life our most recent initiative, a fully automated, 42-plant, ecologically diverse indoor green wall. I fundamentally believe that exposure to nature in our everyday lives is crucial to environmental awareness, acting as a building block to shaping eco-responsible citizenship. Appreciating and caring for nature starts by seeing it all around us. The importance of this step especially true for high school students that barely see the light of day during school hours, and even less flora. Located in a busy hallway of the school, it is estimated that at least three to four hundred students will walk by the plants every day. On a more practical level, this green wall will be used as an educational tool in grade nine and ten science classes, as well as upper-level biology classes. During the conception of the project, we consulted the science teachers in order to equip the wall with plants showcasing a diversity of biological processes. Another exciting benefit of this initiative pertains to students’ mental health. Indeed, extensive research shows that exposure to green life in our day-to-day routine is highly beneficial for mental health, decreasing risk of depression and acting as a deterrent for anxiety. While funding for the project came from a variety of sources (it took a little over two years to raise!), the Women for Nature grant is entirely responsible for the actual plants on the wall. As such, I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the high school’s 1,400-student population will appreciate it just as much for years to come. Thank you Nature Canada and Women for Nature!Image of the Women for Nature logo Stay tuned for the online link to the episode that TFO (Franco-Ontarian television channel) filmed on the day PAPLEN completed this project.

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Nature Canada and Sustainable Forestry Initiative welcomes Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as its 151st member of Women for Nature
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Nature Canada and Sustainable Forestry Initiative welcomes Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as its 151st member of Women for Nature

Ottawa, ON. (September 27, 2017) – Nature Canada, Canada’s oldest national nature conservation charity, is pleased to recognize and honour Ms. Inger Andersen, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as its 151st member of Women for Nature. Ms. Inger Andersen, is being featured as a keynote speaker at today’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) annual conference in Ottawa at the Westin Hotel. SFI’s annual conference, with its theme: Forests. A Way of Life, is as an ideal venue to recognize Andersen because it brings together the foremost thought leaders from the fields of sustainability, conservation and youth outreach. More than 600 people attended Andersen’s keynote address. As Director General of IUCN, Ms. Inger Andersen emphasizes the importance of nature conservation to help achieve sustainable development. “Nature is not an obstacle to human aspirations,” says Ms. Andersen, “It is an essential partner, offering valuable contributions towards all our endeavours. We should all take a moment to stop, think and stand up for our greatest ally – Nature.” Under her leadership, IUCN’s Commission for Education and Communications launched #NatureForAll and the #NatureForAll Playbook, modeled after the Canadian Parks Council’s The Nature Playbook, to help build community support for nature conservation by engaging more individuals to take action for nature. This is now a global movement with more than 175 partners such as Nature Canada, Parks Canada, and SFI connecting people to nature across 36 countries. “Nature Canada is delighted Ms. Inger Andersen has become our 151st Women for Nature, said Ms. Sheefra Brisbin, Vice-Chair of Nature Canada’s Board of Directors and a Women for Nature member. “Ms. Andersen’s work as a champion and role model for the important place that nature plays in our lives is at the heart of Nature Canada’s efforts to connect youth with nature in order to protect our precious wildlife and habitats.” “Recognizing Inger is a perfect launching point to take Women for Nature beyond Canada's borders. I can’t think of anyone who is better placed to achieve our shared goals of elevating the importance of biodiversity and youth engagement, than a woman leader of one of the world’s largest and most powerful conservation organizations,” said Kathy Abusow, SFI Inc.’s President and CEO. Abusow is also a founding member of Women for Nature. Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative brings together women of influence from a variety of backgrounds who are demonstrating their passion for nature and driving change. One way they do this is to empower emerging young nature leaders who implement nature-based projects, inspired by The Nature Playbook.


For media assistance please contact: Janet Weichel McKenzie, Nature Canada Media Specialist 613-808-4642 jweichelmckenze@gmail.com About Nature Canada Nature Canada was founded in 1939 because of the passion and initiative of Mabel Frances Whittemore, a teacher and nature lover whose main goal in life was to share her passion for nature with others. Today, Nature Canada represents a network comprised of 50,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect more than 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat as well as engaging hundreds of thousands of Canadians especially children in nature through its activities. About Women for Nature Nature Canada‘s signature “Women for Nature” initiative raises awareness about the need to connect more Canadians of all ages to nature. The Women for Nature initiative is comprised of women from diverse sectors and backgrounds who come together to champion the importance of nature in the daily lives of all Canadians and to encourage more Canadians to connect with nature. Our founding members include women of influence such as Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, Senator Diane Griffin (Honorary Chair of Women for Nature), Minister Catherine McKenna and Margaret Atwood to name a few. Our members champion efforts to inspire  youth and families to spend time in nature, to learn and experience our natural heritage and in doing so, ensure the health and well-being of our Canadian society. It also has a goal of being 150 Women Strong in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI) SFI® Inc. is a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. We are an independent, non- profit organization that provides supply chain assurances, produces conservation outcomes, and supports education and community engagement. SFI works with the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, and universities. SFI standards and on-product labels help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. Additionally, we oversee the SFI Forest Partners® Program, which aims to increase supply of certified forest products, the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, which funds research and community building, and Project Learning Tree®, which educates teachers and youth about forests and the environment. SFI Inc. is governed by an independent three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social, and economic sectors equally. SFI believes caring for forests improves everyone’s quality of life. Learn more: sfiprogram.org. Media Contact Daniel Pellegrom SFI Inc. Senior Director, Communications Tel: 202-596-3452 daniel.pellegrom@sfiprogram.org

Get to Know “Wild” Woman for Nature Jennifer Haddow
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Get to Know “Wild” Woman for Nature Jennifer Haddow

[caption id="attachment_13592" align="alignleft" width="130"]Picture of Caroline Casselman Caroline Casselman, Women for Nature member[/caption] Featuring Women for Nature member Jennifer Haddow. Written by fellow Women for Nature member Caroline Casselman.  [caption id="attachment_33430" align="alignright" width="150"]Jennifer Haddow tree Jennifer Haddow, Women for Nature member.[/caption] Jennifer Haddow is the owner of Wild Women Expeditions, an outdoor adventure travel company for women. She has led public engagement programs for a variety of environmental and social justice non-profit organizations, including Oxfam Canada and the Canadian Environmental Network. Jennifer is a passionate advocate for protection of wild spaces and promoting the value of women's leadership in the outdoors. She is based in Quadra Island, British Columbia. As part of the Women for Nature blog series, I asked Jennifer how her environmental activism has changed over the course of her career. Growing up in Newfoundland, what influenced your decision to become a global citizen and environmental activist? At 18, I had the opportunity to join the Canada World Youth exchange program. I lived for four months in Egypt, which opened my eyes to global issues around poverty, social justice, race relations, community development and the environment. The experience changed my perspective on what I wanted to accomplish in my life and my career. I studied international development at university and began my journey to becoming a global citizen. I worked for 15 years in the not-for-profit world, as well as in government on the International Campaign to End Landmines. That is a major life change. Was there anything in particular that influenced your decision? [caption id="attachment_33434" align="alignleft" width="300"]Jennifer Haddow Jennifer Haddow, in nature.[/caption] Like a lot of conservationists, I was extremely passionate about protecting the environment – almost becoming a martyr to the cause. Eventually, though, I became frustrated by some of the armchair activism we see in the movement. Lots of statistics and talk about saving the environment, but not enough on-the-ground experience or in-depth knowledge about the threatened places we were trying to save. We also talked about having a balanced relationship with the natural world, but we didn’t have much balance in our own lives. I myself was working too much and losing my connection to what we were all fighting for – I call it the unhealthy saviour complex. I became frustrated and burnt out. And then I became sick. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) 10 years ago, a terrifying wakeup call. I decided to re-orient my life toward the natural world. I travelled to the Himalayas and trekked to the base camp of Mount Everest. It was incredible to wake up in a tent in the snow and watch the sun rise over the world’s highest mountain. From then on, the compass of my life tilted toward fresh air, sunshine, being active and healing. I had gone on a few Wild Women expeditions and loved them so much, I bought the company when the owner announced her retirement. Intuitively, I felt I was meant to be the next owner. How does the mission of Wild Women Expeditions align with the Women for Nature campaign? Is this what inspired you to join? Yes, I think it is important for all of us to get out into the wilderness and get dirty! We need to engage in a physical way in order to fall in love with the natural world, otherwise we won’t really fight hard enough to protect it. That’s the premise for Wild Women Expeditions. We want to bring women into this supportive experience so they can fall in love with the natural world and do the necessary work to conserve it. [caption id="attachment_33433" align="alignright" width="300"]Jennifer Haddow, on a kayaking trip. Jennifer Haddow, on a kayaking trip.[/caption] That passion and commitment is what I identify with in the Women for Nature campaign. And while I believe we need to physically engage in these issues, I also believe in the power of storytelling. We always read outdoor adventure stories about men but we need to promote the value of that experience for women. We need to connect the dots between outdoor adventure, protecting wild spaces and promoting women’s leadership in nature. The next issue of our Wild Women Magazine features Jane Goodall – the quintessential wild woman! How is your health now? I’m in the best health I’ve ever been. I consider myself to be in remission. I have a chronic condition but I am not sick; I am afflicted but not affected. I am at my happiest being a mother to my 5-year old son and when we are home on Quadra Island, we spend lot of time taking hikes and communing with nature. But I want him to be a global citizen too. We visit incredible places – from the jungles of Costa Rica to the Egyptian desert and the elephant sanctuaries of Northern Thailand. Any words of wisdom or advice you want to share with future Women for Nature? I believe I had a physical, emotional and spiritual breakdown because – like a lot of women – I had too much stress and not enough space. And we need that space in order to balance our lives, maintain our health and be our authentic selves. So I can’t emphasize it enough. Go outside, get dirty and connect to the natural world. And, share your stories of what it means to be a wild and adventurous woman – for your health, your spirit and for the environment. To learn more about our amazing Women for Nature, please visit www.womenfornature.ca

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Who are the Women for Nature? A conversation between Dr. Dawn Bazely and Maggie Romuld
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Who are the Women for Nature? A conversation between Dr. Dawn Bazely and Maggie Romuld

[caption id="attachment_22309" align="alignleft" width="150"]image of Maggie Romuld Maggie Romuld, Women for Nature member[/caption] Featuring Women for Nature member Dr. Dawn Bazely, Professor, York University. Written by fellow Women for Nature member Maggie Romuld.  Though Dawn Bazely and I have “known” each other on Twitter for several years, it wasn’t until I interviewed her about her involvement in Women for Nature that I felt as if I’d made a new friend. Animated and enthusiastic, she made me laugh as we chatted about all things Nature Canada – with conversational asides that ranged from growing Brussel sprouts, to rodents, to the Gunning-Fog readability index. [caption id="attachment_33096" align="alignright" width="150"]Image of Dawn Bazely Dawn Bazely, Women for Nature member[/caption] Dawn joined the Biology Department of York University as an Assistant Professor in 1990, and became a Full Professor in 2012. She is an ecologist by training, studying grassland and forest management, climate change impacts on ecosystems, invasive species and science policy. Widely published, she is also active on social media as she attempts to inspire her students and the public to become more aware of the natural world. Dawn truly believes that scientists must work hard at being excellent communicators and she practices what she preaches. Her excitement was infectious when she discussed joining the Adventure Canada Resource Team as a naturalist on an Adventure Canada expedition cruise in 2016. She and other expert resource team members shared their knowledge about regional biodiversity, history, and culture along the route of the “Mighty St. Lawrence” cruise from Quebec City to St. John’s, NL. Dawn doesn’t have enough time to pursue her many hobbies, but she is passionate about making time for gardening and canning, a skill she said she picked up because of a personal and professional interest in sustainability. An aspiring locavore, she started preserving food as a natural extension of using local, seasonal bounty. For seven years, one of Dawn’s roles at York was directing the University’s Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability. On Earth Day this year, her commitment was recognized when she was awarded the York University President’s Sustainability Council Leadership Award. When asked to choose her favourite garden food, Dawn replied “rhubarb” with no hesitation whatsoever. Sweet desserts, savoury dishes, you name it, she loves it. And Dawn is crazy about guinea pigs. Allergies in the family prevented them from having more traditional pets, so she said she has become “ridiculously attached” to rodents. Her oldest daughter obviously shares that love, fostering three guinea pigs from the Kitchener Guinea Pig Sanctuary, this past academic year, and bringing them to the family home for Christmas vacation. (The guinea pigs even had their own Instagram account!) [caption id="attachment_32797" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Image of Guinea pigs Photo of fostered three Guinea Pigs.[/caption] What inspired you to become a Woman for Nature? Dawn first heard about Women for Nature from fellow York biology faculty member, Distinguished Research Professor, Bridget Stutchbury. After talking with Bridget, she became a founding member of Women for Nature in 2014, because she feels it is important to support a national approach to nature advocacy.  She thinks that Canadian conservation groups are more fragmented than those in the UK and USA, with less of a central national voice, and impact. Dawn believes that by coming together under national umbrella and backbone organizations, the reach of local groups will expand, and the cumulative impact will lead to greater awareness of environmental benefits and issues, better funding and measurable outcomes. [caption id="attachment_30094" align="aligncenter" width="402"]Image of Dawn Bazely and guest at Nature Canada's Nature Ball Dave Reid, Heidi Langille (with whom Dawn worked on the Adventure Canada Arctic Explorers trip), Dawn Bazely, Darwin the Owl and his handler.[/caption] Who were your mentors and what books have inspired you? Dawn said she was lucky to have had many influential mentors in her life, both men and women. She singled out Kathy Martin, Professor in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC, who gave her excellent career advice during her undergrad and graduate student years at Toronto; and Judy Myers, Professor Emerita in the Department of Zoology, UBC, whom she met while pursuing her doctorate at the Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, with Professor Lord John Krebs. According to her Wikipedia bio, Myers was at the “forefront of Canadian post-secondary education's efforts to recruit more women in STEM fields during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when she was Associate Dean of Science at the University of British Columbia.” In 2003, Myers and Dawn co-authored “Ecology and Control of Introduced Plants” (Cambridge University Press), which was selected as an American Library Association CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title in 2005. Dawn confesses to being a “big reader,” but with all the essays she has to read, she has developed a fondness for audio books. Right now, she is reading “The Invention of Nature” by Andrea Wulf. Calling it inspiring, she said that “everyone should read it.” After such a spirited endorsement, I felt compelled to learn more. This award-winning book “reveals the extraordinary life of the visionary German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and how he created the way we understand nature today. Though almost forgotten today, his name lingers everywhere from the Humboldt Current to the Humboldt penguin. Humboldt was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age.” Inspiring indeed! What advice would you give to future Women for Nature leaders?  Dawn’s first piece of advice to future Women for Nature leaders is to build networks and seek out many mentors. Ask them about their lives and careers; ask them to pass on the knowledge they have gained and the experiences they have had. Dawn also emphasized that young leaders should understand that leadership is a set of skills that can be learned and developed, adding that women still tend to think they shouldn’t be taking the lead. According to Dawn, the best leaders are “able to be coaches who find people’s strengths and create a platform for others to succeed.” Young women should embrace opportunities to learn about leading, and then get out there and do it. “Everyone has something to teach and contribute,” she said. Wiser words were never spoken. [caption id="attachment_32804" align="aligncenter" width="402"]Image of Dawn R. Bazely Dawn on Beechey Island, Nunavut, when she was the resident Botanist on the Adventure Canada Arctic Safari trip 2016. (photo Andre Gallant).[/caption]

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Get to know Women for Nature member Bridget Stutchbury
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Get to know Women for Nature member Bridget Stutchbury

[caption id="attachment_16443" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Eleanor Fast Eleanor Fast
Executive Director[/caption] Featuring Women for Nature member Bridget Stutchbury. Written by fellow Women for Nature member Eleanor Fast.  As part of the Women for Nature blog series I had the great pleasure of chatting with Bridget Stutchbury, a founding member of Women for Nature. [caption id="attachment_12842" align="alignright" width="150"]Picture of Bridget Stutchbury Bridget Stutchbury, Women for Nature[/caption] Bridget is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Ecology and Conservation Biology at York University, Toronto.  She studies songbirds and follows their migrations to South America and back to understand their behaviour, ecology and conservation. Bridget is a leading researcher on Purple Martins (a species that Nature Canada is also involved in protecting). She is author of the bestselling book Silence of the Songbirds and is a frequent media spokesperson on conservation issues. Bridget’s amazing research and public outreach work is truly inspirational and it was wonderful to have the chance to learn more about her research and passion for communicating science – as well as finding out what’s on her birdwatching wish-list! This is a summary of our conversation. Eleanor (E): How did your career begin, why did you choose to study birds? Bridget (B): I fell into bird conservation by accident.  During my 3rd year of university at Queens I did courses which involved weekend field trips to study limnology and basic ecology.  During these weekends I got hooked on field biology and was encouraged to seek out a summer job in ecology.  So I did, and was hired for the summer to do a Tree Swallow study.  At the time I had no bird identification skills at all – I could recognize a Canada Goose but that was about it! I really enjoyed the research and went on to study Tree Swallows for my undergraduate and Masters theses.  Then for my PhD I went to Yale and studied Purple Martins.  Throughout my studies I was interested in how cavity-nesting species fight for limited nest sites.  There are a lot of parallels to human behavior, for Purple Martins persistence pays off and the young bird without a nest just has to keep at it – they go back to the nest sites day after day after day until one of the older birds who control several nest sites will give one up to a younger bird.  It’s fascinating. E: What is the most surprising research finding you’ve had in your career? B: Being able to track bird migrations has led to some really surprising and exciting results.  We were able to tag Purple Martins in Northwestern Pennsylvania, and we have learned that they over-winter on Islands in the Amazon.  We didn’t know that before so it is really important to have the tracking technology as now we know which areas are the most important for conservation. E: What is your favourite bird and why? [caption id="attachment_32921" align="alignright" width="394"]Image of a Scarlet Tanager Bridget’s favourite bird – the Scarlet Tanager[/caption] B: I’m fascinated by the Scarlet Tanager – it’s a beautiful bold coloured bird, yet in the forest it is so subtle and hard to find.  It also has fascinating social behaviour with males doting on their females who are frequently begging for food handouts (I think this helps females judge a male’s parental ability when it comes time to feed the chicks). E: What bird would you love to see in the wild but haven’t yet? B: The Kakapo, it’s a flightless giant parrot from New Zealand – the world’s largest parrot.  There are only 125 left in the world, but it is a “conservation hero” success story with millions of dollars each year spend on their conservation on small islands where dangers such as cats and rats have been eliminated.  It was once thought to be extinct but one small population was discovered and rescued. E: As well as being a scientist, you are also an author. Probably your best known book, Silence of the Songbirds, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Prize – quite an honour!  Does writing come easily to you?  How do you go about translating your research into a popular book? B: I was surprised to find that writing comes quite easily to me.  Before starting my first book I read books on how to write books!  The advice was always to let your natural voice come through, and when I took that advice to heart I found writing to be fun.  I find that the teaching part of my job as a professor helps a great deal because when I’m giving lectures to undergraduate students (the vast majority of whom will not pursue a career in conservation) I need to find interesting ways of engaging them for 50 minutes at a time while also conveying rigorous scientific concepts.  It’s a similar challenge to writing a book, how can I portray complex ideas in unique and interesting ways.  I actually find that all kinds of science outreach whether it is teaching or writing or speaking with the media require similar skills and the approach is transferable. E: Are you working on any books right now? [caption id="attachment_32924" align="alignleft" width="241"]Image of Silence of the Songbirds by Bridget Stutchbury Silence of the Songbirds by Bridget Stutchbury[/caption] B: Yes, I’m writing a book about conservation triage – about how we make decisions on which species we should be investing resources on protecting.  For example, $3-5 million is spent each year on conserving the Kakapo in New Zealand.  For the same investment, we might be able to protect several species.  How do we make those decisions?  Of course, we need more investment in conservation, but even then we won’t be able to save everything.  I hope it will be a tool for getting people to think about endangered species and what can be saved but also the extinctions that will happen if we do not invest more.  It will be a book for reading at the dock at the cottage but also relevant for policy makers as well.  I’m still writing it and it doesn’t have a title yet but I’m hoping it will be published in a year or so. E: Apart from your own, what book related to nature conservation do you think is a must-read? B: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.  That book has had a profound impact on environmental education and is an important message for everyone. Nature Canada does such great work in encouraging children to get outside into nature and that’s something that is so needed these days.  People have to experience nature and enjoy it, then they will start thinking about conserving it. E: You’ve also been on TV, and were featured in The Messenger documentary.  How does it feel to be a movie star?! B: I enjoy doing all kinds of outreach, whether it is TV, radio, writing, or documentaries.  As a scientist, it is important to write scientific papers and advance knowledge, but I find it is increasingly important and satisfying to me to get the message out to the general public in all kinds of ways. E: What is your favourite TV or film experience? B:  SOS Songbirds which was a Nature of Things episode. I advised the producers and directors from day one and so it was exciting to see their years of hard work featured on such an iconic program. It is a good length at 40 minutes and delves into about the right level of detail for the general public, I think. E: What inspired you to become one of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature? B: Being part of Women for Nature is such a great opportunity to work with a unique and diverse group of women to help Nature Canada’s nature conservation work.  There are so many interesting women involved, and I bought a couple of friends to the amazing Nature Ball last fall where I met some Women for Nature – it was so inspirational! E: You’ve had, and continue to have, a big impact on nature conservation. What is your proudest accomplishment?  [caption id="attachment_22359" align="alignright" width="319"]image of an american gold finch American Goldfinch[/caption] B: I think my biggest accomplishment was writing “Silence of the Songbirds”.  It was my first book – I didn’t know I could write before that, and to have it shortlisted for the Governor General’s Prize was amazing.  And Margaret Atwood was involved in promoting the book, seeing posters in bookstores and in Toronto subway cars of her holding my book was a huge honour. The experience made me realize that outreach is really important to my scientific career, and looking back I realize that I wouldn’t have had such a fulfilling career if I hadn’t embraced public outreach in such a big way. E: As a scientist how do you feel about the future?  Are you concerned or optimistic? B:  Both really.  It’s hard not to be concerned about the future with all the evidence we have of the rapid rate of biodiversity loss.  I don’t have grandchildren yet, but with the rapid rate of biodiversity loss in what is being called the Anthropocene extinction I often worry about what kind of wildlife will be around for my future grandchildren. But on the other hand, there is lots to be optimistic about too.  There is a lot of interest about conserving the environment and organizations such as Nature Canada are leading what I hope will be an environmental revolution with people putting the environment as a high priority in daily lives and eventually elections.  We’ve seen a lot of social revolutions in my lifetime already around religious rights, gender rights, sexual rights–why not an environmental revolution? E: What advice do you have to young women today who want to make a difference and protect and conserve nature? B: Follow your passions!  I think a lot of people today are trying to assess the job market and make decisions based on where they think they can get jobs, instead of focusing on what they enjoy. I never worried about whether I would be able to get a job, I just followed what I found I loved to do and am having a wonderful career.  Today there are so many opportunities in field ecology and nature conservation, if someone is very passionate about it they can find a way. I think role models are very important – 50 years ago there were few female field researchers, but now it is normal for women to be working in remote field camps, or leading research groups, I hope that the visibility of women in these roles will show young women that they can follow their passions. To read or hear more about Bridgets passion for songbirds, check out these stories below: Ottawa Sun- Songbirds now report their locations as they fly Bridget Stutchbury Sneak Preview -  The MESSENGER Documentary

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Nature Canada welcomes six Young Women from all across Canada as inaugural Young Nature Leadership Grant recipients
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Nature Canada welcomes six Young Women from all across Canada as inaugural Young Nature Leadership Grant recipients

Ottawa, ON (May 12, 2017)—Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative is pleased to announce the first recipients of its exciting new Young Nature Leadership Grant. The goal of the grant is to encourage, foster and nurture youth to demonstrate their own leadership for nature. Canadian youth were invited to develop and implement (in 2017) a project inspired by the Canadian Parks Council’s recently published The Nature Playbook that connects a new generation with nature by bringing them into the nature. “As the Honorary Chair of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative, I am delighted to see that Canada’s nature is in good hands,” says the Honourable Senator Diane Griffin. "These young women and their projects being recognized today are a step in the right direction to help enable more young Canadians to connect with nature and assist in protecting our precious wildlife and habitats,” adds Griffin. The inaugural Young Nature Leadership Grant recipients include:

  • Nina Andrascik from Ottawa, ON
  • Olivia DesRoches of Hampton, NB
  • Martha Henderson from Whitehorse, YK
  • Caroline Merner of Victoria, BC
  • Mathilde Papillon from Ottawa, ON
  • Chantal Templeman of Cochrane, AB
They join alongside Chloe Dragon Smith of Yellowknife, NWT to be named as inaugural     Young Women for Nature in Canada’s special anniversary year. “It is exciting to see the diverse projects that have received support from our Young Nature Leadership Grant,” says Eleanor Fast, Executive Director of Nature Canada. “Having young Canadians inspire a new generation of Canadians to nature is an excellent way to connect them to nature - which we believe will ultimately help protect our natural heritage.” "What an awesome way to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary by empowering emerging Young Nature Leaders to champion nature," says Dawn Carr, Women of Nature member and Executive Director of the Canadian Parks Council. "By working together we can conserve, and encourage new generations to connect with nature."
For media assistance please contact: Janet Weichel McKenzie, Nature Canada Media Specialist 613-808-4642 jweichelmckenze@gmail.com For information on the Women for Nature Young Nature Leaders Grant please contact: Jodi Joy, Director of Development, Nature Canada 613-295-6769 | 1-800-267-4088 jjoy@naturecanada.ca About Nature Canada Nature Canada was founded in 1939 because of the passion and initiative of Mabel Frances Whittemore, a teacher and nature lover whose main goal in life was to share her passion for nature with others. Today, Nature Canada represents a network comprised of 50,000 members and supporters and more than 350 nature organizations across the country. Over the past 75 years, Nature Canada has helped protect more than 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and countless species that depend on this habitat as well as engaging hundreds of thousands of Canadians especially children in nature through its activities. About Women for Nature Nature Canada‘s signature “Women for Nature” initiative raises awareness about the need to connect more Canadians of all ages to nature. The Women for Nature initiative is comprised of women from diverse sectors and backgrounds who come together to champion the importance of nature in the daily lives of all Canadians and to encourage more Canadians to connect with nature. Our founding members include women of influence such as Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, Senator Diane Griffin (Honorary Chair of Women for Nature), Her Excellency Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Minister Catherine McKenna and Margaret Atwood to name a few. Our members champion efforts to inspire youth and families to spend time in nature, to learn and experience our natural heritage and in doing so, ensure the health and well-being of our Canadian society. It also has a goal of being 150 Women Strong by Canada’s 150th anniversary.

A passion for Monarch Butterflies
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A passion for Monarch Butterflies

[caption id="attachment_18250" align="alignleft" width="150"]image of vetesse Sharolyn Mathieu Vettese, Women for Nature Member[/caption] Interview of Woman for Nature Laren Stadelman, MBA, FCMC, President of Stadelman Consulting Inc., management consultant, and coach by Woman for Nature Sharolyn Mathieu Vettese.  [caption id="attachment_26495" align="alignright" width="150"]Image of Laren Stadelman Laren Stadelman, Women for Nature Member[/caption] Sharolyn (S): A few years ago, you successfully nurtured a Monarch butterfly from egg to adulthood. What was that like? Laren (L): It was exciting, and I got more out of it than I expected.  I had grown up with Monarchs at the cottage, and they were quite plentiful when I was young.  I’d been seeing fewer and fewer of them so when I read an article about raising Monarchs, I decided to give it a try. I got to see firsthand all the stages of metamorphosis from egg to butterfly and it was really quite fascinating. S: Were you surprised by the experience? L: Yes.  I was surprised by how quickly caterpillars grow and much they eat.  Over the course of about two weeks, my caterpillar grew from the size of an eyelash to the size of your little finger. Caterpillars only eat milkweed and after the first few days, mine was eating about 2-3 milkweed leaves every day. S: Wow! That means even one insect needs a large habitat. Then, one caterpillar needs a cluster of milkweed plants to provide enough food since it will eat at least 30 leaves. L: Yes. You can see why the availability of milkweed is so important for the Monarchs. S: Did you see your caterpillar get to the chrysalis stage? L: Yes, she did. I had never seen a chrysalis before and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was - emerald green with tiny golden dots. It looked like a tiny piece of jewellery. [caption id="attachment_32746" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Image of a Monarch caterpillar Photo of a Monarch caterpillar[/caption] S: How did you know when the butterfly would emerge? Did you see it? L: I had read that butterflies usually emerge in the morning and that proved to be the case. I knew it was going to happen soon when the chrysalis changed from green to and orange to black and I could see the shape of the butterfly inside. Gradually the chrysalis split open and the butterfly emerged. It was amazing to watch! S: I guess they emerge in the morning so that they have the best chance to find flowers for their first meal. L: Yes, that would make sense. I let mine go in that afternoon in a field with plenty of wildflowers.  Because she was born in late summer I knew she would be migrating all the way to Mexico - a long journey for a small creature. It was hard to say goodbye. S: You’ve called your Monarch ‘Charlotte’. Was that from Charlotte’s Web, the spider story? L: No. I called her Charlotte after a dog I met in British Columbia. S: What was the connection between a dog and a Monarch butterfly? L: Charlotte was a small dog who got picked up by an eagle and carried away.  Her owners thought for sure she was gone, but a few days later, she returned. I wanted my Monarch to be a survivor, just like Charlotte. S: How did you know she was a female? L: I didn’t know for sure until she emerged. Male Monarchs have a telltale black dot on their hind wings; Charlotte didn’t. S: How long did the whole process take? L:  From egg to butterfly was about 5 weeks. I found plenty of good information about raising Monarchs on the internet and I should mention that if anyone is considering it, they would be wise to check first with their local wildlife authorities.  Ontario has regulations for raising wildlife, and the other provinces may have them, too. [caption id="attachment_32745" align="aligncenter" width="551"]Image of a Monarch chrysalis Photo of a Monarch chrysalis[/caption] S: Was it after you released Charlotte that you decided to go to Mexico to see the Monarchs’ winter habitat at the Reserva de la Biosfera Mariposa? L: Yes. Looking after Charlotte for 5 weeks, I developed a very strong interest in her well-being and I was curious to see where she would spend the winter. I went there this past February. I like to believe I saw some of her great-great-great-grandchildren. S: What was that like seeing the Monarchs in Mexico? L: It was magical - just magical! I was lucky enough to visit on a sunny day when the butterflies were quite active. At first, there were only a few, but the numbers increased as we got closer to the top of the mountain at the overwintering site. At the site itself, the trees were weighted down with huge clusters of butterflies and there were hundreds of butterflies flying everywhere. The most magical part of the experience was that if you were really quiet, you could hear the fluttering of their wings! [caption id="attachment_32757" align="aligncenter" width="365"]Image of a Monarch emerging from the chrysalis Charlotte emerging from the chrysalis. Photo from Laren Stadelman[/caption] S: It sounds like gently rustling grass. I remember that sound from when I was there. Which sanctuary did you go to? L:  I visited the El Rosario Sanctuary.  It is high up in the mountains northwest of Mexico City, and home to one of the 14 Monarch butterfly overwintering colonies. It lies within Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a protected area and UNESCO World Heritage site. S:  We went to El Rosario, too. Are the farmers still cutting the trees? We saw farmers with donkeys around the sanctuary burdened with chopped wood, and small trucks hauling trunks of trees. L: Not that I saw. I found that the people in Angangueo, the town where I stayed, seemed very aware of the Monarchs. They told me that local communities have a butterfly festival every February that celebrates the Monarchs. S: What did you take away from the Monarch Butterfly’s migration from birth in Canada to overwinter in Mexico? L: Getting to know Monarch butterflies has heightened my awareness of the challenges they face as a species. I now have a much greater appreciation of the milkweed plant as a food source for the caterpillars, and the need to protect the oyamel forests in the mountains where they spend the winter. In December of 2016, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) up-listed the Monarch from ‘Special Concern’ to ‘Endangered’. Hopefully this will lead to greater conservation efforts going forward. [caption id="attachment_32762" align="aligncenter" width="365"]Image of Monarch Butterflies on trees in Mexico Monarch Butterflies on trees in Mexico. Photo by Laren Stadelman[/caption] S: How do you incorporate Nature in your everyday life? L:  I believe that the more time we spend in Nature, the more we appreciate it; and the more we appreciate it, the more we recognize the need to protect and steward it wisely. S: What does being a Woman for Nature mean to you? L: I find it a very interesting group and I am excited by the variety and potential impact of the initiatives that we have under development. I’ve been involved in two – one related to mentoring young leaders and one focused on promoting dialogue about the importance of biodiversity. It’s been a real pleasure to meet other like-minded women and I think that collectively we can accomplish a lot. S: Thank you, Laren. L: Thank you, Sharolyn.

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Nature Canada Welcomes Her Honour, The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and our 1st Young Women for Nature
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Nature Canada Welcomes Her Honour, The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and our 1st Young Women for Nature

[caption id="attachment_11729" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Jodi Joy Jodi Joy
Director of Development[/caption] Nature Canada was delighted to recognize Her Honour, the Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia as our newest Women for Nature member for her life-long commitment to nature.  Earlier this month, she graciously spoke about the importance of engaging youth voices for nature at the Child and Nature international conference in Vancouver. She is visiting 150 schools in British Columbia this year to encourage young people “to become involved in our democracy in order to contribute to the goal of: Healthy People in Healthy Communities on Healthy Land.”  To do so, Her Honour encouraged having “respectful relationships with all who share this land and with the land which supports us all, and a responsibility to leave our community, Province or state and our Nation better for all who follow.”   [caption id="attachment_32785" align="aligncenter" width="626"]Image of Women for Nature in attendance at the international Child and Nature conference Women for Nature in attendance at the international Child and Nature conference. (L - Meg Beckel, Chloe Dragon Smith, Diz Glithero, Dawn Carr, Her Honour Judith Guichon - R)[/caption] At this time, she helped name Nature Canada’s 1st Young Woman for Nature, Ms. Chloe Dragon Smith who was recognized for her leadership on the Nature Playbook and dedication to engaging more Canadians with nature. Chloe co-chaired the intergenerational task force that developed the Nature Playbook which was used to inspire our Young Nature leaders for their own project ideas. Chloe is a young Chipewyan-European-Metis woman from the small city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Her Northern upbringing shaped her values. It is her hope to empower others to connect with Nature and encourage them to find their paths in their own way.Image of Chloe Dragon Smith

When I am out in Nature, I am at my most observant, most alive, and most authentic self. The Nature Playbook is a simple, small way to invite others to connect with the land and hopefully, to evoke some of those same feelings of belonging and joy that have been so powerful for me. Chloe Dragon Smith
  What a wonderful way to celebrate our nation’s 150th birthday by encouraging young Canadians to act as a strong voice for nature! Six additional young nature leaders from across the country have also been chosen as Nature Canada’s first recipients of our exciting new Young Nature Leadership Grant. Established this year thanks to the generosity of Women for Nature members, the goal of the Young Nature Leadership Grant is to encourage, foster and nurture youth to demonstrate their own leadership for nature. Canadian youth were invited to develop and implement (in 2017) a project inspired by the Canadian Parks Council’s recently published The Nature Playbook. The inaugural Young Nature Leadership Grant recipients include: Caroline Merner, Victoria, BC
  • Caroline is developing and leading interactive quick play sessions connecting people with nature’s changing tides and coasts.
Chantal Templeman, Cochrane, AB
  • Chantal is bringing youth caving to teach them about bats and cave conservation, and encourage team-building and leadership skills while volunteering on projects in Banff National Park.
Martha Henderson, Whitehorse, Yukon
  • Martha is developing a Girl’s Nature Club to engage and empower teenage girls with the wilderness knowledge and skills to help them become comfortable and confident with nature. She plans to inspire girls with positive role models through intergenerational sharing of nature knowledge.
Mathilde Papillon, Ottawa, ON
  • Mathilde is developing a Green Wall for her school with the goal of bringing nature to current and future students to learn from and enjoy.
Nina Andrascik, Ottawa, ON
  • Nina is developing a pilot project to encourage first generation new Canadians to enroll in outdoor education programs. She is creating a video series to document the participants experience and voices about their experience.
Olivia DesRoches, Hampton, NB
  • Olivia and her Grade 11 Foundations of Math class are building and running a greenhouse on their school property to bring the knowledge of cultivating fruits and vegetables and flowers to students and to further their knowledge about the environment and pollinators.
What an awesome way to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary by empowering emerging Young Nature Leaders to champion nature. By working together we can conserve, and encourage new generations to connect with nature. Dawn Carr, Women of Nature member & Executive Director of the Canadian Parks Council
To read more on Chloe Dragon Smith receiving the Young Women for Nature Award, click here
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A conversation between Women for Nature members, Professor Ann Dale and Candice Batista
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A conversation between Women for Nature members, Professor Ann Dale and Candice Batista

[caption id="attachment_32495" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Candice Batista Candice Batista, Women for Nature Member[/caption] Featuring Women for Nature member Professor Ann Dale. Written by fellow Women for Nature member Candice Batista.  I had the opportunity to interview fellow Woman for Nature, Professor Ann Dale (who is also the co-chair for Women for Nature) about her love of nature and what led her to become a leader in environmental stewardship in Canada. When I read her resume I was blown away, I mean this woman is impressive; she’s received national and international recognition for her research in the field of sustainable community development. Her research on governance, innovation and community vitality is designed to provide useful knowledge to Canadian decision-makers. [caption id="attachment_26965" align="alignright" width="150"]Image of Ann Dale Professor Ann Dale, co-chair for Women for Nature[/caption] She is deeply committed to online conversations on critical public policy issues and novel research dissemination tools, such as her YouTube channel (yep she has her own channel) HEADTalks. As well, she is an active researcher leading MC3, a climate change adaptation and mitigation research program studying best practices and community innovations in throughout British Columbia. Wow right? Our conversation was so inspiring, she, like me, has loved animals her whole life. Here’s a closer look at this inspiring lady. Candice Batista: Why did you get involved with women for nature?  Ann Dale: Let me start at the beginning, I was a tomboy, I was always outside, in fact when my parents made me come inside, they were punishing me.  So it’s kind of ironic that I ended up in academics. If I had become a wildlife biologist, I would be able to be outside most of the time. I have always loved animals.  I’ve had dogs since I was six years old and I would not be the person I am today if those animals had not been in my life. I never really had a definitive a career path, like all the guys I grew up with that wanted to be doctors and lawyers, I did not know what I wanted to be. But there were two criteria that I used for my jobs; first, it is going to make a difference and the second was I was going to learn something, learn something to improve myself and that guided my career choices. I followed my heart and never lost my love for being outside. I am an avid swimmer and in my late 30’s I became a part-time gardener, so anything I could do to be outside would work. With Women for Nature, I saw a way to empower younger women to make a difference through this group in many different ways.  Biodiversity conservation is the social imperative for this decade and the next decade.  There is no second chance. CB: We really need to get our acts together when it comes to the loss of biodiversity and conservation. AD: I don’t think it’s going to take as long for people to get our act together as it did with climate change because people can now see and feel climate change, I mean everyone is talking about this past winter in Canada. So people can see even more loss of biodiversity and once they start making critical connections between biodiversity, climate change and sustainability, I think we will start moving fast. What would Canada be like without any polar bears or the call of the common loon in the spring? CB: What advice do you have for future Women of Nature? Image of Professor Ann DaleAD: Learn as much as you can about your neighbourhood, get outside, walk it, live it, breathe it. One of the things I have learned in my travelling is you need to walk, to get to really know a place. Get as much education as you can in so many different areas, be as ecologically literate as you are professionally literate. We have so much to learn from nature, there is so much wisdom if you just keep your eyes, your ears and your heart open to what is out there. CB: What does nature really mean to you?  AD: Nature to me is everything outside. That even means bringing nature back into our cities, nature makes cities more livable. The other day there were two raccoons stuck in a garbage can near our condo and nobody knew what to do with them. So I just put a stick in and they crawled out, We need to share our space with the ‘others’, if you see a live worm on the pavement following a rain storm, take a moment and move it back onto the grass. I would like to add that I will be leading a series of on-line virtual conversations on why biodiversity conversation is the human imperative of this century, with other women from Women for Nature, starting this September. You can listen in to these e-conversations at here.


"There is nothing more important to me than the conservation and sustainability of Nature. Working with Nature Canada to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy nature, like I did when I was a child, is simply imperative to me. We only have one planet. We have a responsibility to take care of it. In the same way it takes care of us.” Candice Batista, Eco-Journalist, Women for Nature member
 
“Nature’s future, our future, requires us to collaborate, innovate, and lead.  We are working together to sustain biodiversity and heart-felt connection to nature across this great country.” Prof. Ann Dale and Dr. Brenda Kenny, Co-chairs, Women for Nature
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Interview with Women for Nature Member Dawn Carr
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Interview with Women for Nature Member Dawn Carr

Featuring Women for Nature member Dawn Carr, Executive Director, Canadian Parks Council. Written by Women for Nature member Rachelle Hansen. [caption id="attachment_24758" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Dawn Carr Dawn Carr, Women for Nature member[/caption] Connecting kids with nature is very important to Dawn. Many of us remember that first experience in our childhood of going for a walk in the forest, following a stream, or picnicking in the park. You will see how life stepped in to connect Dawn to nature and thus fanned her deep desire to share and protect it. Her life’s work has been to provide opportunities for others to grow to love our natural environment. Dawn grew up in Port Credit, Ontario in a suburban-based area. As fate would have it, a guidance counsellor suggested she apply for the Ontario Junior Ranger Program. For over 70 years, the program provided opportunities for ~78,000 youths to connect with nature, frequently working in provincial parks.  Duties included trail clearing, building fish spawning beds, constructing and maintaining public latrines on hiking trails, amongst other things. Dawn said, why not? If that does not work out, she would be a lifeguard at Ontario Place.  Low and behold her name was literally pulled out of a hat for the Junior Ranger Program. The summer of 1993 in Killbear Provincial Park changed the course of Dawn’s life. With the support of a maintenance person, she returned to the park the following summers to work. She chose her university programs based on the working in the park. First, Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies followed by Public Administration, Environmental Policy and Community Development. Dawn’s grad work took her to Alberta. Her path was set because of that life-changing chance to learn, work and appreciate the beauty of Killbear. How can others like her be given that opportunity? This is what drives Dawn. [caption id="attachment_31713" align="aligncenter" width="377"]Image of Dawn Carr Photo of Dawn Carr[/caption] What was your favourite animal or toy? Since childhood, I always had a family dog. Today, Atticus Finch or Mr. Finch, a black labradoodle, is my trusted advisor. He is at my side in my home office, providing wisdom. Dogs have a unique perspective to ground you. What are your hobbies? I have two young children. Maddie, my daughter is ten and Wesley my son, is eight.  Right now, my hobbies revolve around my family’s interests. We spend our summers on Georgian Bay, where my husband and I met 20 years ago. As a family, we spend time outside and in the water. I actually took a snowboarding lesson recently to support Maddie’s interest. I pushed myself to experience something new because of her, albeit with bumps and bruises! Maddie is also fascinated with mythical creatures and believes in dragons.  Maddie tells me “Only kids have the ability to see and connect with dragons. Adults lose that.” We will see where this interest takes us! Image of Dawn Carr What TV or films would you be watching, or what books would you be reading, if you weren’t so busy? If I wasn’t so busy, I would be spending more time with friends and family outside of work. As a family, we are watching the Cosmos series on Netflix. As for books, I am all over the map. For ten years, I have been part of a nine-member book club. In September, each of us comes to the table with two books we must pitch and they are voted on. Over the years, I have read many books across all genres. What do you MOST want to be remembered for/or achieve in life? All of us have different roles to play in life. I am on this path of working for nature. I have had different roles and contributed in different ways. I make decisions based on what “feels right” and based on what opportunities come my way.  I hope people can look back and know that if you work hard, and make small and large decisions every day, accumulatively you can change the world. Focus on a purpose. For me, it was recognizing the importance of nature, our ability to connect and make a difference for the betterment of our planet.  Everyone has the ability and capability to make a difference, especially kids. As the current Chair of The Child and Nature Alliance, I believe that all children and youth should have the opportunity to play and learn freely outside in forests, parks, meadows and mud puddles. Sometimes parents can be too risk adverse and time spent outside is a great way for children to develop important skills and to know they’re trusted and capable. What inspired you to become a Woman for Nature? First off, how fun is it to connect with other women? It is exciting to contribute to a movement with other like-minded women who are working to connect Canadians with nature in their own unique way.   Women are incredible collaborators and I believe there is a lot we can to together to create meaningful change. This is the only way to succeed no matter what the endeavour. Women in this field have such strength, passion and knowledge. The depth of wisdom across the generations and cultures is impressive. This past year has been incredible for me. Who were your mentors and what books have inspired you? Dr. Paul Eagles, a professor in the Parks, Recreation and Leisure program was a mentor in my early days at the University of Waterloo. One of my mentors now is a young woman in her mid-20’s, Chloe Dragon-Smith. Chloe’s approach to environmental protection has named her as an emerging leader in changing parks in Canada. I have learned so much from Chloe. [caption id="attachment_31715" align="aligncenter" width="377"]Photo of Dawn Carr and Chloe Dragon-Smith Photo of Dawn Carr and Chloe Dragon-Smith[/caption] Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv really inspired me and had a big impact. As a child, I remember reading Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson about this magical world created in the forest. It was an emotional read and I have a vivid memory of the important role that nature played in supporting friendship. Have any specific events or transformative experiences-situations/organizations inspired you the most? The Ontario Junior Park Ranger experience inspires me to this day, that kids can connect to nature given the chance. Working with a group of Canadians from across the country to develop The Nature Playbook has also been incredible.  This book, which supports the global #NatureForAll movement, inspires action. Chloe Dragon-Smith was the Co-Chair for the book with an inclusive working group (gender, cultures and intergenerational). I am thrilled the book is going global! And creating the Women for Nature grant to empower Young Nature leaders to use the learning in the book is exciting too. What advice would you give to future Women for Nature leaders? The advice I would give based on my own experiences is to be open to different perspectives from different ages and cultures. Put yourself in those “uncomfortable” places. So much insight comes from those experiences. You get so much out of them. So broaden the tent! What are some reflections on leadership lessons that you have learned and would like to pass on? Learn to trust yourself, listen to your instincts and take calculated risks. This happens more and more over time. When I was younger, I would constantly question myself. Now I listen closely to my instincts and interests, which cause me to move in new directions.  In doing this, I landed my dream job and I continue to be amazed at where my own connection to nature takes me. I really love what I am doing! [callout title="Young Nature Leadership Grant" button="Apply Today" link="http://naturecanada.ca/initiatives/women-for-nature/" buttoncolor="red" ]If you are a youth under 30 who cares deeply about nature and wants to inspire and engage your peers to get outdoors, learn about wildlife and parks and become a voice for nature, please apply for the Women for Nature Young Nature Leaders grant today![/callout]

 
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