As the year is drawing to an end, we are grateful to you and all of our amazing supporters from across this beautiful province who understand that time spent being in nature is good for our kids and has the power to make them happier and healthier.
Seventeen years ago we set out to help children in British Columbia get outdoors to explore, play, learn about and take action for nature. There has never been a greater need for organizations like ours and I thank you so very much for your support over the past year as a donor, member or volunteer; we value your support tremendously.
This past year more than 1,250 youth members took part in Explorer Days, stewardship projects and other NatureKids BC activities; 100 volunteers gave 8,000 hours of their time, skills and experience; 57 nature club leaders organized and led monthly Explorer Days throughout BC; and around 200 nature mentors provided expertise in guiding Explorer Days.
We hope that you will deepen your commitment to connecting children with nature by making a special, financial contribution today.
Despite the many important benefits of getting outside in nature, kids in British Columbia generally spend very little time outdoors. Key reasons are busy schedules and the lure of electronic devices. Research shows that kids are suffering like never before from diabetes, obesity, attention deficit disorder, depression and nearsightedness. Most of these ailments can be linked back to our largely indoor lifestyle.
It is important that we actively help this generation of children get outdoors and connect with nature because so much is at stake if we don’t. Along with the many health benefits – including stress reduction, better sleep and improved mental health – spending time outside also helps families develop stronger bonds and, very importantly, it teaches children about environmental stewardship and inspires them to protect our environment.
Our children are our future citizens, opinion leaders and environmental stewards. How they learn and develop their attitudes and core beliefs will determine how they act and make decisions throughout their lives. Countless studies have shown that regular contact with nature is critical: if kids learn, play and engage with nature, they will value and cherish it.
With your help and the generosity of our volunteer nature club leaders and nature mentors, we get kids excited and engaged with nature through our network of family nature clubs across British Columbia and through opportunities to engage in citizen science initiatives and environmental stewardship activities. Together we share a vision of helping children develop a love of nature and a lifelong connection to the natural world.
NatureKids BC’s family nature clubs are open to anybody who becomes a member for only $35 for each family – and this includes an annual subscription to our NatureWILD magazine. Each nature club organizes and delivers monthly Explorer Day adventures for their members, ranging from invasive species removal, wildlife tracking, beach cleanups, bird banding, forest ecology, nature photography and wildlife surveys.
We purposely keep the membership fees low to ensure costs aren’t a barrier for participation, but to do this we must turn to you to help us make the magic happen for children across British Columbia. The funds from our membership fees cover only a small portion of what it costs us to deliver our nature programming. The balance is made up from a combination of grants from foundations and government and donations from committed individuals.
Donations are the most sustainable source of funding and provide NatureKids with certainty, enabling us to plan great programming into the future.
Your support directly helps us:
- Increase the number of children across BC who get opportunities to explore, play and learn in nature through our nature club program.
- Ensure we help children who can’t afford to get involved in nature-based programming by keeping our program fees low and accessible through subsidization.
- Support our network of volunteer nature club leaders by building support, capacity and community.
- Publish NatureWILD, BC’s only full-colour nature magazine for children and their families each quarter. Each issue features a range of articles by BC’s leading naturalists, as well as games, nature activities, step-by-step drawing instructions, contests, quizzes, “Ask Al” column, stories and poems.
- Work with educators in BC’s elementary schools through our NatureWILD magazine and Curriculum Connections Guide to incorporate place-based learning into the classroom and nature into the school community.
Would you be willing to make a special year-end, tax-deductable donation of $50, $100 or whatever you can afford to help us share the love of nature with more children in the coming year? Please visit www.naturekidsbc.ca/donate to make a donation.
Thank you for your continued support.