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

Action Alerts

Resquest for letters of support: Proposed name restoration for the Wolastoq

Sunday, 30 April 2017
by Alma
 The Wolastoq Grand Council supports our YOUTH GROUPS on their proposal for changing the name of the Saint John River, back to it’s original and proper name; Wolastoq (the beautiful & bountiful river ). We see this as a good place to begin the process of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; which was strongly recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  

Proposed Name Restoration: 
  • The name Saint John River back to it’s original indigenous name -  Wolastoq
Purpose: 
  • Wolastoq; (the beautiful river) is the original Indigenous name of the River.
  • Wolastoq is the name sake for the real identity and unique nationality of our People; the Wolastoqiyik.  Respecting the rights of Wolastoqiyik.
  • Scientific studies have now confirmed, what our people have always known; “that water has memory”.    This river will remember its original name.   
  • This deed would begin a process for reconciliation with a show of goodwill on the part of the Government of New Brunswick, and would;
  • Create opportunities for discussions and engagement around indigenous issues.
  • Wolastoqiyik have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons. 

The Wolastoq Grand Council is requesting support letters from our Allies; as individuals, organizations, and/or Groups.  For more information, contact Alma Brooks, 506-478-1256, almabrooks.26@outlook.com

Please send support letters to the following addresses:

The Wolastoq Grand Council,
Grand Chief; Ron Tremblay
50 Maliseet Drive
Fredericton, NB, E3A 2V9


David Coon
Office of the Green Party Leader
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1

Additional Information

  1. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Carolyn Bennett; Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; has assured the Wolastoq Grand Council in writing that; - “Canada is committed to a renewed nation to nation relationship with indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”   Carolyn Bennett also stated that ; - “Achieving full reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people in Canada is at the heart of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s mandate, and that the government of “Canada will engage with Indigenous peoples, provinces, territories, and Canadians on how to implement the Declaration in accordance with Canada’s Constitution”.

  1. Andrea Bear-Nicholas
As described in a 2011 article by Andrea Bear-Nicholas, Maliseet historian:  
  1. The first step in the dispossession for the indigenous peoples in the Maritimes began in earnest immediately after the British capture of the French fort at Louisbourg in 1758.   Where place names and names of First Nations in the entire region had been inscribed on earlier maps; both would soon be erased by colonial cartographers in a process described by J. B. Harley as cartographic colonialism.  The justifications for these erasures was found in the doctrine of discovery.   
  2. The second step in the dispossession of indigenous peoples in Nova Scotia began immediately after signing of the Treaty of 1760 by Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Leaders, and later the signing of the Mascarene Treaty.   Although there was no surrender of any lands in either of these Treaties; 1.5 million acres of Maliseet land which outlawed the surveying and expropriation of lands not yet ceded by the indigenous inhabitants or purchased by the Crown.    


  3. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:   Articles 1, 2, 6, & 13   support and provide a guide for the implementation leading to reconciliation.

As a distinct ‘people,’ we have a right to our accurate identity and nationality.
  • Indigenous Peoples have the right to the full enjoyment as a collective or as individuals of all human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and international human rights law. 
  • Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin and identity. 
  • Every indigenous individual has the right to their own nationality. 
  • Indigenous people have a right to retain their own names for communities, places and persons.  “States shall take effective measures to ensure that this right is protected”.

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,

Green Jobs

EOS Eco-Energy Watershed Coordinator

Thursday, 08 June 2017
by EOS Eco-Energy
Watershed Coordinator

EOS is an award winning not-for-profit organization focused on helping local communities reduce and adapt to climate change in the Tantramar region. We are looking for a dynamic individual who will develop a water quality monitoring program and coordinate outreach and education for the Inner Bay of Fundy and part of the Cape Tormentine Peninsula watershed composites. The watershed coordinator will work out of our Sackville, NB office.

Duties:

  • Supervised by the executive director, you will be responsible for coordinating public education and outreach on watershed issues including flooding, creating a watershed committee of local people, developing a water quality monitoring program with project partners, and building capacity in monitoring techniques.
  • Collect, review and assess existing watershed data.
  • Communicate with the public and raise awareness about watershed, flooding, water quality and adaptation issues, etc. at community events in Tantramar, as well as with news articles, and social media posts, etc.
  • Explore the role of citizen science in watershed quality monitoring.
  • Prepare regular reports of project activities, write newsletter articles, prepare public relations materials, update databases and webpages, maintain volunteer lists, etc.
Experience required:

  • Knowledge of or experience with watershed & water quality issues and climate change adaptation. Knowledge of the Tantramar area and local climate issues would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of or experience with watershed monitoring, water-testing and associated data analysis, and GPS.
  • Experience coordinating community-based projects.
  • Committee and/or event coordination.
  • Experience working independently as well as part of a team.
  • Experience with community outreach, public education including children/youth.
  • Watershed habitat identification and species identification (birds, plants, etc.) would be an asset.
  • Marketing/advertising, social media, website maintenance (using Wordpress) would be an asset.
Qualifications

  • Post-secondary degree in biology or environmental sciences or related field.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Fluency in English. Valid drivers licence and vehicle.
  • Dynamic, creative, organized, diligent, attention to detail, responsible, energetic, excellent time management skills, strong leadership and interpersonal skills, team player, able to take initiative.
Contract details:

9 month contract from July 2017 to March 2018. 35 hours a week. Possibility of extension, depending on funding.


Application procedure and deadline:  

Please forward your cover letter, resume and three references to eos@nb.aibn.com by 4pm Friday, June 16th, 2017. If you have questions, please contact Amanda Marlin at (506) 536-4487 or eos@nb.aibn.com.

The Conservation Council is now hiring summer students!

Thursday, 18 May 2017
by Corey Robichaud
Do you have a SEED voucher for the summer? Are you looking for a fun placement? The Conservation Council is now hiring summer students!

We’re looking for young people who are interested in engaging with the public, informing New Brunswickers about our work, blogging about events and workshops, helping out with the pollinator garden at Conserver House, organizing our seasonal BBQs, and more!

Interested applicants can apply by emailing a resume and cover letter to jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca.

Responsibilities include: Coordinating production and distribution of CCNB promotional materials (including informational leaflets, posters, videos, audio playlists and other innovative marketing resources) at public events and in the community; Supporting CCNB involvement with and presence at community events and summer festivals across N.B.; Developing social media marketing campaigns and content for our website; and conducting research on the history of CCNB and topics related to our program areas.

Find our job listing at www.nbjobs.ca by searching for “Conservation Council.”

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