NatureKids BC is very pleased to welcome a new club to the almost 50 around the province — Ridge Meadows NatureKids (located near Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows)!
NatureKids is for kids aged 5-12 who are curious about nature and for those waiting to discover nearby nature with family, friends and volunteer nature mentors. To learn more about the benefits of membership or to join the Ridge Meadows NatureKids click here.
Volunteer Leaders: Susanne Sloboda & Kim Blais
Meet your volunteer leaders!
Susanne’s love for nature was inspired by her Father at a young age, and continued to evolve as she embarked on her passion for nature and wildlife with her career. Throughout her profession as an environmental consultant for 15 years, her myriad experience with fish, wildlife, vegetation in both terrestrial and aquatic environments has resulted in travels throughout the province conducting various biophysical surveys and monitoring. In 2016, Susanne began a new career path in local government as an Environmental Stewardship Officer for the City of Pitt Meadows. Her hobbies include hiking and exploring new places with her family, travelling, birding, gardening and photography. She enjoys sharing her knowledge of local environmental attributes and issues with children and adults, and strives to promote environmental awareness and literacy within her community of Ridge-Meadows.
Kim grew up on a rural acreage next to a mountain range on Vancouver Island in the temperate rain forest. She was fortunate to participate in many outdoor daily activities which could include fishing, dirt biking, and horseback riding. Participating in the operations of running a family hobby farm exposed her to the care and skill required for the upkeep of chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, cats and a horse including maintenance of forage and hay crops, flower and vegetable gardens and fruit tree propagation. Having nature as her playground as a child, exposed her to the native plants and animals in her backyard forests, swamp and ponds. Kim pursued further education and completed a masters in hydrological processes with particular focus on wetlands and organic soils. She was fortunate to do wetland research in the Northwest Territories, in areas of permafrost. After having her three children she saw the importance of exposing and educating them on the natural environment because of how much it was a positive part of her childhood and how it directed her career path. With her family, they have 2 vegetable gardens, which the children assist in the preparation of the soil including learning the benefits of composting, decomposition and invertebrates; preparation and addition of organic fertilizer; planting; upkeep of the plants; harvesting and preservation. They enjoy nature hikes during the day and at night and plant, animal, rock and mineral identification along the way. She enjoys devoting her time towards helping children learn more about scientific concepts and appreciation for the natural environment.