Why do we need nature?

Nature has nurtured us for millennia. Our senses (touch, smell, hearing, seeing) and also our creativity have developed because of our contact with nature. We need nature to help us fully develop.

Why does nature need us?

Humans have changed most of the planet. Nature now needs us to sustain her. We need each other.

What are the benefits of learning/teaching outside?


All the senses are stimulated, thereby increasing the capacity to learn. Recent studies document the many ways in which learning outside and being in nature contribute to mental, physical and emotional health, as well as positive social development, greater self-confidence, and improved academic outcomes [link to list of key articles]

What can I teach outside?

Everything you teach in the classroom can be taught outside. Some subjects are obvious, but with some creativity other subjects do lend themselves to learning outside.

What about weather? 

There is no bad weather; you just have to dress for the weather. We will show you some techniques.

What about perceived risks/dangers?

Prevention by ensuring your learning area is checked for hazards beforehand is the best strategy.

One of students is scared of bees? How do I address this?

Acknowledge the fear and determine if the fear is based on an allergy or a bad childhood encounter. If an allergy is the reason for concern, take all necessary precautions. Check the area to determine whether bees are present. Make sure the student has the necessary medication (and someone knows how to administer it!). Teach all students how to act around bees and  other stinging insects (in general, be aware, stay calm, do not disturb or agitate the insects). A lawn with wildflowers will have bees – they are a part of nature. If the fear is learned from others or based on a bad encounter, a gradual introduction to being outside, starting with a few minutes at a time of outdoor learning, may be helpful. You can model curiosity and an interest in watching and learning about the insects discovered.

How do I ensure that my students are learning outside?

Check for understanding through discussions and inquiry.

How do I get my principal/teachers/parents on board?

Explain the mental and physical health benefits along with the increased learning that can occur outside. We also have sample letter to hand out.

Do you work with children under 5?

Yes, we work with all age groups.

How long are your sessions?

Half day and full day sessions are available. The half day sessions are 2 to 4 hours, and the full day session are 4 to 6 hours. 

How many people can be included in a session?

As many as you want! As a rule of thumb, our ration is one trainer for 10 people. Most of the sessions are co-facilitated by two trainers. We can definitely accomodate bigger groups depending on the availability of the trainers.

Is there a cost?

Yes. However, subsidies are available to the first 20 schools who register for the 2016-2017 school year! For more information about the prices for community groups or other groups contact us.

Do you do school yard identification of animals and plants?

Yes, we do.

Do you include children with mental and physical handicaps?

Yes, we can with the assistance of the child’s teaching assistant.

Where do you offer your sessions?

The sessions are offered on site, where the educators work (schools, daycare, community centers, etc.). By being where they actually teach, they will learn to see the possibilities in their own school yards. 

Do you do follow-up workshops?

Yes, we do check in with participants to see how the teaching is going and we also provide follow-up workshops focussed on teaching particular subjects or themes outside. 

Will you come to my class to run an activity?

Definitely! Click here to book a session.


Blog

Check it out: Every Living Thing – Experiencing a bioblitz

Wednesday, 05 April 2017
by Raissa Marks
Header 1 blue owl

The documentary film, Every Living Thing -­ experiencing a bioblitz, will take you on an amazing journey of what it's like to spend four weeks over two summers exploring all aspects of nature – fish, insects, plants, fungi, reptiles, amphibians and mammals - that live in NB’s own Grand Lake Protected Natural Area.

Celebrate the UN Decade of Biodiversity – host a film screening in your community!

Unlike reality TV, this documentary film features real scientists speaking about real issues affecting real people living in real communities.

Every Living Thing was produced by NB-based company, Flower Power Production, in collaboration with the New Brunswick Museum's BiotaNB program.  BiotaNB is a 20-year biodiversity research project to identify and catalogue as many species in the province of New Brunswick, before human encroachment and climate change intensifies.  The NBEN is partnering with Flower Power Production to promote community film screenings of this film across Canada. 

Sooooo many opportunities to have your say

Tuesday, 22 November 2016
by Raissa Marks
There are so many government consultations going on that it’s hard to keep track! We’re making it a bit easier by compiling a list of those of interest to environmental groups and their deadlines:

Pre-budget Provincial
New Brunswickers are invited to attend upcoming public meetings focused on priorities for the 2017-18 budget. November 16-December 5

Electoral Reform Provincial
The Commission on Electoral Reform is looking at alternative voting systems, voting age, and other election rules. Deadline: November 30

Navigable Waters Federal
Review of the previous government’s changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Deadline: December 7

Environmental Protection Act Federal
Comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of theCanadian Environmental Protection Act. Deadline: December 1

Charities Federal
Modernization of the rules governing charities and their political activities. Deadline: December 9

Environmental Assessment Federal
Comprehensive review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes. Deadline: December 18

Fisheries Federal
Review of the 2012-13 changes to the Fisheries Act made by the previous government. Comments welcome on restoring habitat protections that were lost and also on incorporating modern safeguards. No deadline mentioned but the committee responsible is submitting its report in “early 2017”.

National Energy Board Federal
A targeted review of the NEB’s structure, role and mandate under the National Energy Board Act. Deadline: January 17

Clean Air Act Operating Approval – Irving Provincial
Renewal of the Approval to Operate for the Irving Pulp and Paper Limited Reversing Falls Complex in Saint John. Deadline: March 7

Upcoming Events

Art of Hosting PEI - Registration Deadline April 14th
Thu, Apr 27th, 2017
Fox Meadow Golf Course

Grow Gourmet Mushrooms
Sat, Apr 29th, 2017
The Ville Cooperative

Corn Hill Nursery: PREPARING YOUR GARDEN SEMINAR
Sat, Apr 29th, 2017
Corn Hill Nursery

Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.

Green Jobs

NBEN Summer Job: Health & Education Programs Assistant

Thursday, 06 April 2017
by Raissa Marks
Here’s your chance to join a dynamic and passionate team while contributing to the environmental movement!

Employer:
New Brunswick Environmental Network, a non-profit, bilingual communication network linking over 100 environmental groups across the province. The network is the heartbeat of the environmental movement, with a mission “to encourage and facilitate networking and communication among member groups in order to advance their work, to protect the Earth, to promote ecologically sound ways of life and to strengthen the environmental movement in New Brunswick.”

Salary: $12.00 / hour for 37.5 hours per week

Term of employment: Summer student position with a flexible start date finishing by August 25, 2017; Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 with occasional evenings and weekend work

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick

Position Requirements: To be eligible for this position you must:

  • have been a full-time student in the semester preceding the job
  • intend to return to full-time studies in the semester following the job

Position’s Duties and Responsibilities:

The Health & Education Programs Assistant will assist in the implementation of a number of projects designed to (1) develop engagement in sustainability education initiatives, and (2) to promote children’s environmental health.  Other duties related to stakeholder engagement in environmental issues may be assigned. 

Requirements:
• Organizational and coordination skills
• Strong oral and written communications skills in English and French
• Strong computer skills
• Out-going and personable

Assets:
• Capable of working in a flexible work environment
• Ability to work independently but also a co-operative team player
• Quick learner and a highly motivated self-starter
• Creative and resourceful
• Background in the environmental or non-profit sector
• Interest in or passion for environmental issues

How to Apply: Please send resume and cover letter to Raissa Marks, Executive Director, nben@nben.ca

Application deadline: Monday, April 24, 2017

While the New Brunswick Environmental Network appreciates all applications, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

NBEN Summer Job: Communications and Special Projects Assistant

Thursday, 06 April 2017
by Raissa Marks

Here’s your chance to join a dynamic and passionate team while contributing to the environmental movement!

Employer:
New Brunswick Environmental Network, a non-profit, bilingual communication network linking over 100 environmental groups across the province. The network is the heartbeat of the environmental movement, with a mission “to encourage and facilitate networking and communication among member groups in order to advance their work, to protect the Earth, to promote ecologically sound ways of life and to strengthen the environmental movement in New Brunswick.”


Salary:
$12.00 / hour for 37.5 hours per week


Term of employment:
Summer student position with a flexible start date finishing by August 25, 2017; Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 with occasional evenings and weekend work


Location:
Moncton, New Brunswick


Position Requirements:
To be eligible for this position you must:

  • have been a full-time student in the semester preceding the job

  • intend to return to full-time studies in the semester following the job

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide assistance to NBEN member groups in communicating with other community environmental groups both provincially and nationally

  • Prepare and distribute regular e-mail correspondence to NBEN members regarding upcoming opportunities, special events, and news-worthy items

  • Update the NBEN’s brochures and other promotional material to reflect recent developments within the organization

  • Assist in the coordination of the NBEN’s Eco-Confluence, an event that will bring together community environmental groups, New Brunswick youth, Francophone and Anglophone New Brunswickers, and aboriginals to discuss and explore community involvement in environmental issues

  • Assist in expanding the NBEN website’s interactive potential

  • Assist in the coordination meetings and teleconferences.

  • Other duties as assigned.

 Requirements:

• Organizational and coordination skills

• Strong oral and written communications skills in English and French

• Strong computer skills

• Out-going and personable


Assets:

• Capable of working in a flexible work environment

• Ability to work independently but also a co-operative team player

• Quick learner and a highly motivated self-starter

• Creative and resourceful

• Background in the environmental or non-profit sector

• Interest in or passion for environmental issues


How to Apply:
Please send resume and cover letter to Raissa Marks, Executive Director, nben@nben.ca


Application deadline: 
Monday, April 24, 2017 


While the New Brunswick Environmental Network appreciates all applications, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

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