Weekend events that bring you ‘back to nature’

Starfish Last week on Haligonia Kids I talked with April from Nurtured about raising kids with an environmental conscience. We both agreed that one of the best ways to do this is to make outdoor living a part of regular life as much as possible, getting kids closer to nature whenever possible, and hopefully nurturing a love of the natural world that will extend to caring for it and protecting it. (That's the theory, anyhow!)

Thankfully, there are lots of opportunities in the HRM to do this, and over the next few weeks I'm hoping to highlight some of them for you. Please do share your own ideas, either in the comments below or in our forums!

This weekend is a great weekend for special events with a focus on nature and the outdoors. Today, Alex and I are heading down to the waterfront for World's Ocean Day for the touch tanks and a visit to the hydrographic ship CSS Acadia. There's more Ocean Day activities happening on Sunday, at Shubencadie Wildlife Park and at Fisherman's Cove. Seeing as we do live in Nova Scotia, after all, celebrating our oceans seems like a great way to get kids interested in the environment.

A new event I just added to the calendar is BioBlitz 2009, which is 24-hour survey of a wilderness area, in which scientists count and identify the biodiversity of species contained in the area. And you and your kids can be involved! Tomorrow between 10am and 3pm at the Lebanese Cultural Centre (345 Kearney Lake Rd), there will be nine groups of scientists set-up with demonstrations on each of their species group (fish, reptiles, bugs, etc.). There will be live species, microscopes, and lots of scientists/naturalists on hands to answer questions. There will also be community groups on hand, such as the Sackville River's Association, who will have a large fish aquarium and species to look under the microscope. There will also be set-ups at the Maskwa Aquatic Club (91 Saskatoon Dr – off Kearney Lake), where there will also be a number of community groups to talk about conservation, biodiversity, and the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Area. The Young Naturalists and Halifax North West Trails Association will also be on hand to take people on guided walks through the area. The guides are very knowledgeable about the area and the species living there, and will be able to share some fun and interesting facts. There are walks at 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm, so plenty of opportunity to fit one of these walks in. This really sounds like a great day – I'm hoping to make it out there with Alex!

Also tomorrow you can celebrate International Trails Day by walking, biking or pushing strollers on the BLT trail, with games and a bbq as well. Tomorrow is also the first Come Grow With Us Saturday of the summer, where you can join in at the Urban Farm Museum in Spryfield for some community gardening, learn new skills and have lots of fun! (And check back next week for information on a parent and tot gardening program!)

Whew, that's a lot of getting closer to nature this weekend! I just hope you don't have a little boy who's terrified of flies like I do!

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, enjoy! 🙂

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