Wild About Vancouver – Outdoor Education Festival – April 16 – 22

Discover Outdoors Dog Mountain

Panoramic city view from Dog Mountain Photo: Rob Weiss

Are you wild about Vancouver? I most certainly am!  When Vancouver welcomed the world to Expo 86 I enthusiastically accepted the invitation and travelled to the coast. Without question, the World’s Fair was an exceptional event and I loved every second of it. However, what captured my imagination during my visit was the wild, rugged beauty of this thriving cosmopolitan city.  I decided, almost in an instant, that Vancouver should be my home.  Like the Clampetts, from the sixties television series, I loaded up my truck and moved to “Beverly” – Vancouver that is!

Discover Outdoors Dog Mountain3

Hiking trail on Dog Mountain Photo: Rob Weiss

Years later, I still feel an adrenaline rush while hiking the North Shore Mountains or paddling the local waters.  There is something almost magical and mystical about standing on the first peak of Dog Mountain.  Stretching out below lies the spectacular Vancouver city skyline and yet rotate a simple 180 degrees and you are treated to views of snow-capped mountains and untamed wilderness, not a person, high rise or condo to be seen for miles.  Yes, I am addicted to nature!

Wild About Vancouver3 Ada Smith

Wild About Vancouver Outdoor Education Festival Photo: Ada Smith

Sometimes I am saddened when I read about how children are spending less time outdoors.  I can’t imagine my own childhood devoid of mud puddles, tree forts, s’mores and weekend campouts. Richard Louv, in his 2005 book titled Last Child in the Woods, coined the phrase Nature Deficit Disorder.  Although, not a medical condition, it describes our lack of relationship to the environment and how it hurts all of us, our children, our families, our community and our environment.

Wild About Vancouver2 Ada smith

Wild About Vancouver Photo: Ada Smith

In true Vancouver form, a group of passionate community volunteers have joined forces to address the nature deficit phenomenon.  They are striving to improve children’s lives and build supportive communities through outdoor experiential learning.  Wild About Vancouver, conceived by UBC Outdoor Education Faculty member Dr. Hartley Banack, is a free, week-long public festival offering practical ways to get kids and adults outdoors on a more regular basis. The main goals for Wild About Vancouver are to promote outdoor and experiential learning opportunities, to unite organizations and citizens with respect to outdoor and experiential learning and to create an annual and sustainable outdoor education festival. From urban tree walks and bird watching to Outdoor Leadership training there are many ways to participate …and best of all, the events are FREE! For up to date program information and to learn how you can get INvolved and get OUTside to celebrate outdoor learning in local nature visit www.wildaboutvancouver.com

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Are you Wild About Vancouver?


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