As suburbs and cities have expanded, nature has become more and more parceled off, and kids have spent less and less time roaming around parks and woods in their neighborhood. The Federation of BC Naturalists (now BC Nature) was concerned that kids were becoming increasingly disconnected from nature.
The outdoors wasn’t found just by stepping out of the door and more often than not, grandparents, aunts and uncles no longer lived close enough to take them out to find and explore nearby marshes, fields and seashores.
To help meet the need for nature mentorship, BC Nature and Nature Vancouver formed the Young Naturalists’ Club (YNC) in 2000 as a program of Nature Vancouver. In 2006, YNC spun into an independent registered charity and it was re-named NatureKids BC in 2015.
The overarching mandate of NatureKids BC is to provide regular opportunities for children and families to explore, learn about and enjoy nature nearest to where they live, guided by local nature mentors – naturalists, college and university scientists and other experts from every possible sphere of interest.
There is a growing body of evidence that getting children outdoors exploring in nature is important for their physical and mental health, which makes our work that much more worthwhile.
Since 2000, NatureKids BC has expanded from one nature club in Vancouver to almost thirty clubs across the province. During these years, upwards of 20,000 children have participated in Explorer Days and enjoyed NatureWILD magazine and other programs. At the same time, their parents are also learning more about nature, conservation and the positive outcomes of environmental action.