Why do we need nature?

Nature has nurtured us for millennia. Our senses (touch, smell, hearing, seeing) and also our creativity have developed because of our contact with nature. We need nature to help us fully develop.

Why does nature need us?

Humans have changed most of the planet. Nature now needs us to sustain her. We need each other.

What are the benefits of learning/teaching outside?


All the senses are stimulated, thereby increasing the capacity to learn. Recent studies document the many ways in which learning outside and being in nature contribute to mental, physical and emotional health, as well as positive social development, greater self-confidence, and improved academic outcomes [link to list of key articles]

What can I teach outside?

Everything you teach in the classroom can be taught outside. Some subjects are obvious, but with some creativity other subjects do lend themselves to learning outside.

What about weather? 

There is no bad weather; you just have to dress for the weather. We will show you some techniques.

What about perceived risks/dangers?

Prevention by ensuring your learning area is checked for hazards beforehand is the best strategy.

One of students is scared of bees? How do I address this?

Acknowledge the fear and determine if the fear is based on an allergy or a bad childhood encounter. If an allergy is the reason for concern, take all necessary precautions. Check the area to determine whether bees are present. Make sure the student has the necessary medication (and someone knows how to administer it!). Teach all students how to act around bees and  other stinging insects (in general, be aware, stay calm, do not disturb or agitate the insects). A lawn with wildflowers will have bees – they are a part of nature. If the fear is learned from others or based on a bad encounter, a gradual introduction to being outside, starting with a few minutes at a time of outdoor learning, may be helpful. You can model curiosity and an interest in watching and learning about the insects discovered.

How do I ensure that my students are learning outside?

Check for understanding through discussions and inquiry.

How do I get my principal/teachers/parents on board?

Explain the mental and physical health benefits along with the increased learning that can occur outside. We also have sample letter to hand out.

Do you work with children under 5?

Yes, we work with all age groups.

How long are your sessions?

Half day and full day sessions are available. The half day sessions are 2 to 4 hours, and the full day session are 4 to 6 hours. 

How many people can be included in a session?

As many as you want! As a rule of thumb, our ration is one trainer for 10 people. Most of the sessions are co-facilitated by two trainers. We can definitely accomodate bigger groups depending on the availability of the trainers.

Is there a cost?

Yes. However, subsidies are available to the first 20 schools who register for the 2016-2017 school year! For more information about the prices for community groups or other groups contact us.

Do you do school yard identification of animals and plants?

Yes, we do.

Do you include children with mental and physical handicaps?

Yes, we can with the assistance of the child’s teaching assistant.

Where do you offer your sessions?

The sessions are offered on site, where the educators work (schools, daycare, community centers, etc.). By being where they actually teach, they will learn to see the possibilities in their own school yards. 

Do you do follow-up workshops?

Yes, we do check in with participants to see how the teaching is going and we also provide follow-up workshops focussed on teaching particular subjects or themes outside. 

Will you come to my class to run an activity?

Definitely! Click here to book a session.


Spotlight


Blog

Sooooo many opportunities to have your say

Tuesday, 22 November 2016
by Raissa Marks
There are so many government consultations going on that it’s hard to keep track! We’re making it a bit easier by compiling a list of those of interest to environmental groups and their deadlines:

Pre-budget Provincial
New Brunswickers are invited to attend upcoming public meetings focused on priorities for the 2017-18 budget. November 16-December 5

Electoral Reform Provincial
The Commission on Electoral Reform is looking at alternative voting systems, voting age, and other election rules. Deadline: November 30

Navigable Waters Federal
Review of the previous government’s changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act. Deadline: December 7

Environmental Protection Act Federal
Comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of theCanadian Environmental Protection Act. Deadline: December 1

Charities Federal
Modernization of the rules governing charities and their political activities. Deadline: December 9

Environmental Assessment Federal
Comprehensive review of Canada’s environmental assessment processes. Deadline: December 18

Fisheries Federal
Review of the 2012-13 changes to the Fisheries Act made by the previous government. Comments welcome on restoring habitat protections that were lost and also on incorporating modern safeguards. No deadline mentioned but the committee responsible is submitting its report in “early 2017”.

National Energy Board Federal
A targeted review of the NEB’s structure, role and mandate under the National Energy Board Act. Deadline: January 17

Clean Air Act Operating Approval – Irving Provincial
Renewal of the Approval to Operate for the Irving Pulp and Paper Limited Reversing Falls Complex in Saint John. Deadline: March 7

Environmental Network Celebrates 25 Years

Tuesday, 22 November 2016
by Raissa Marks
For immediate release
November 22, 2016
cake

Fredericton – The New Brunswick Environmental Network celebrated its 25th anniversary over the weekend. During the celebration, special recognition was given to seven groups that have been members of the network for 25 years: Atlantic Salmon Federation, Vertige at Mathieu-Martin High School, Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station, Nature NB, Nature Trust of New Brunswick, and Trees International.

There are now 100 citizen-based environmental groups from across New Brunswick in the Network. “It was a double milestone,” said Raissa Marks, Executive Director of the NBEN. “It was perfectly fitting to approve the membership of our 100th group during the 25th anniversary event.”

“Nature NB is excited to have been part of the NBEN for 25 years,” said Vanessa Roy-McDougall, Executive Director of Nature NB. “The NBEN's diligent work over the years has allowed us to connect with other environmental groups and has made our efforts to conserve New Brunswick's natural heritage even stronger."

Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, added that her group is “...proud to have been part of NBEN for 25 years. The Network's groups and their members, including the Conservation Council, represent citizens from all over the province and by working together, we've become a strong united voice for clean water and air and for a thriving, greener economy.”

Youth environmental groups have always been an important part of the Network, as explained by Mylène Chavarie of Vertige at Mathieu-Martin High School, “Vertige is extremely proud to be part of the NBEN. The resources provided by the Network have been useful to us over the course of the last 25 years. Our committee is honoured to have been part of the NBEN since the beginning.”

Laurie Murison, of the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station, reflected back on the last 25 years. “We were happy to join a network of New Brunswick environmental groups 25 years ago. At that time, communication among groups was limited to phone calls, mail outs, or meetings. The need to connect with others, and the chance to learn new skills, was beneficial and desirable. The development of a strong network in New Brunswick over the years with increased membership has strengthened our resolve to remain a member.”

The 25th anniversary celebration, held in Fredericton on Saturday November 19, was attended by over 100 people representing 53 environmental groups from around the province.

The Network’s mandate is to improve communication and co-operation among environmental groups and between these groups, government, and other sectors.

-30-

Contact:
Raissa Marks, 506-855-4144, raissa.marks@nben.ca

Upcoming Events

Renewables NB Conference
Sat, Feb 25th, 2017
The Ville Cooperative

TREEvia Night with the Conservation Council and Falls Brook Centre
Mon, Feb 27th, 2017
Unplugged Board Games Cafe

National Invasive Species Forum
Tue, Feb 28th, 2017

Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Reinstate funding to the Canadian Environmental Network

Friday, 03 February 2017
by Raissa Marks
The Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks need your help!

Historically, the Canadian Environmental Network and its provincial affiliate networks including the NBEN received annual core funding from the Government of Canada. This was used to facilitate networking on environmental issues across the country, coordinate national and provincial issue-based caucuses, coordinate ENGO participation in federal public consultation processes, and maintain open lines of communication between ENGOs and the federal government.

In 2011, as part of the across-the-board cuts to civil society organizations by the previous federal government, all federal funding to the RCEN and its provincial affiliate networks was cut. This left the national network and most of the affiliates with functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work.

There is hope that the current government will provide for renewed funding in its upcoming budget. This funding is crucial for the survival of the national network and many of the provincial affiliate networks. A proposal has been submitted. It now needs strong and immediate support from environmental groups and individuals across the country.

This is where you come in!

Please take a few minutes to write to Prime Minister Trudeau and your MP telling them why you value the RCEN, your provincial affiliate network, or environmental networking at the national level in general. Feel free to use the template letter provided below. You can personalize it based on your experience or simply copy and paste.

Trudeau’s email is justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca and you can find your MP’s email here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members

Let’s show our federal politicians that a strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada!

Draft Template Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing to ask that annual core funding to the Canadian Environmental Network (RCEN) be reinstated.

Historically, the RCEN provided a crucial link between environmental groups across the country, both large and small. This link was vital in helping communities address environmental issues right across the country and ensuring a robust approach to the development of environmental policy in Canada.

Since funding was cut in 2011, the RCEN and most of its provincial affiliate networks have been functioning primarily on a voluntary basis with limited capacity to do their work. This is not acceptable. A strong, well-connected grassroots environmental community is essential to a strong Canada. I urge you to reinstate core funding for this crucial work immediately.

Sincerely,

Still Time to Submit Comments - Snowmobile Trail Development up Mount Carleton

Monday, 21 November 2016
by Roberta Clowater, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - New Brunswick Chapter
You can still send in your comments until end of day Nov 21 (Monday) on the environmental assessment report about the proposed snowmobile trail at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. If you're not sure what to say, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - NB Chapter has summarized some of our key messages here: http://cpawsnb.org/images/upload/key_messages_EIA.pdf

Please send comments or questions to: lynn.white@gnb.ca or mail to: Lynn White, Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1.

Green Jobs

Research Manager - ECHO Network Environment, Community, Health Observatory

Tuesday, 31 January 2017
by Raissa Marks

Research Manager

ECHO Network (Environment, Community, Health Observatory)

5-Year Term Position*

Position Summary

A Research Manager (RM) is required for the ECHO Network which is a 5-year research program that brings together national and international partners to: (1) create and operate an Environment, Community, Health Observatory (ECHO) that strengthens intersectoral capacity to understand and respond to health impacts of resource development, and (2) use the ECHO platform to help regional programs make critical decisions on cumulative determinants of health that cannot be achieved by the health sector alone.

The RM will support the ECHO Network to turn the research plan into accountable and effective action through a wide variety of operational, research, and administrative support services which include: project and financial management; organizational development; and supervisory tasks. The RM will be a leader who ensures that project activities are consistent with the research plan; detects and reduces risks to the project, including conflict management; facilitates and coordinates projects activities; and leads on communicating project activities and results internally as well as to the funder and other relevant knowledge users.

* The RM Position is a full-time position (35 hours a week) for 5 years subject to a 3-month trial period, annual reviews and ongoing funding. The position must be held in Prince George, BC.

The project management office will be located at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) under the supervision of project co-lead, Dr. Margot Parkes, in close collaboration with other project leads.

Project Background

The ECHO Network: (1) is an interdisciplinary group of over 50 people across Canada including experienced health, environmental and social science researchers and practitioners; and (2) includes four regional cases (in New Brunswick, Alberta, British Columbia and Northern BC). In each regional case, knowledge-users have identified decision-support needs that demand a better integration of environment, community and health impacts. Regional cases involve a combination of health, environment and community organisations, linked with researchers at UNBC, Université de Moncton, University of Alberta, and Simon Fraser University. The project is administered through UNBC. The ECHO will provide tools and processes that connect people to a network of information, practices and people to develop a shared perspective and more
effective responses to the cumulative impacts of resource development. The research will involve four components, each linked to specific objectives, mentorship and capacity building processes over five years. The ECHO Network also involves a wider network of collaborations and partnerships across other parts of Canada and internationally.

Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership: The RM will work collaboratively with the research team to ensure that the objectives of the project are met; participate in the hiring of research staff and trainees, providing them with mentorship, leadership and supervision; provide training to research assistants and other personnel (e.g. related to computer programs, data analysis, interviewing); and foster constructive collaborative relationships and interactions with research partners, spanning government, community, First Nations and research colleagues.
Management: The RM’s key management responsibilities are to: track project progress against objectives; detect, evaluate and remedy deviations from the project plan and project conflicts; monitor the project status and prepare status reports; facilitate and actively participate in team meetings (e.g. providing regular updates on research activities); interface with relevant universities, institutions and other partners to harmonize and troubleshoot institutional needs for ethics, financial accountability, and other various tasks; monitor and manage research budget and implement cost-effective measures to optimize budget; human resource management of project staff; office management including maintenance of project files and resources; and daily management of research activities and budget.
Communication: The RM will coordinate knowledge translation and exchange activities throughout the research, with responsibilities to; organize meetings and outreach activities with relevant research partners; contribute to generating updates, preparing reports and publications; establish effective communications with project staff and research leads; and ensure timely notification of project leads regarding issues, problems and opportunities.

Qualifications and Experience

This position requires a strong networking background with experience in research implementation, building relationships with diverse research partners, knowledge translation and exchange, as well as excellent leadership, communication, and organizational skills. We are interested in candidates with demonstrated expertise in environment, community and health services fields and ability to work with colleagues from different disciplines and sectors. Preference will be given to those with experience in research team management. Additional qualifications include:
• Masters degree and/or relevant work experience
• Six years of recent, related experience
• Strong understanding of challenges implementing and integrating qualitative and quantitative research approaches
• Experience managing multi-year projects and/or networks that involve multiple partners from different sectors and institutions
• Experience with research ethics requirements
• Significant leadership and management experience in financial management, supervision, and project management, implementation, analysis, report/grant writing
• Exceptional communication skills, both in writing and verbally, and including the ability to chair committees/meetings and present findings/results. Being able to communicate both in French and English will be considered an asset.
• Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective and constructive relationships and strategic partnerships with internal and external stakeholders
• Demonstrated leadership and/or mentoring skills
• Strong organizational and project management skills and ability to prioritize multiple requests and meet tight deadlines in a dynamic environment.

Salary will commensurate with experience.

Deadline for Applications is Thursday February 16th. Applicants should send their curriculum vitae, and names of three references to:
Margot W Parkes, MBChB, MAS, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society
Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences,
University of Northern British Columbia,
3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, V2N 4Z9, Canada
Traditional Territory of the Lheidli T’enneh
Tel: +1(250) 960-681, Fax: +1(250) 960-5744
Email: parkesm@unbc.ca, www.unbc.ca/parkes and ecohealthkta.net

Certified teacher with organic agriculture experience

Thursday, 20 October 2016
by Falls Brook Centre
The Ville Cooperative and Falls Brook Centre are seeking a Lead Instructor to complete the final phase of planning and the execution of an Urban Agriculture educational series running from November 7, 2016 to February 10, 2017. The Lead Instructor will report to the Executive Director of Falls Brook Centre and be responsible for the planning, teaching, and evaluation of the course and the participants. This is a 15-week contract with the possibility of extension. There will be an assistant experienced in urban agriculture to support the Lead Instructor throughout.

  Within this contract period, your responsibilities will be as follows:


Program Planning:

·         Meeting with partners to review program content and specific objectives

·         Creating and finalizing lesson plans

·         Curating and collating course materials

·         Confirming guest instructors and field trips

·         Other program development as required

Program Delivery:

·         Delivering educational programming, not limited to the following topics:

o   General Principles of Organic Agriculture

o   Organic Garden Planning

o   Soil Management

o   Pest and Weed Management

o   Preserving

o   Seed Saving

o   Seed Starting

o   Livestock Production

o   Permaculture Design

o   Hydroponics

o   Aquaponics

o   Spin farming

o   Business Planning and Management

o   Marketing

·         Delivering educational programming and assessing participant understanding through a variety of hands-on activities, on-farm observations, written assignments, and workshops

·         Providing participants with appropriate selected readings, examples of soil/compost analyses, and samples of insects, weeds, and diseased plants

·         Facilitating individual and group learning throughout the program by building relationships with students and establishing a positive learning environment


Program and Student Evaluation:

·           Developing, delivering, and marking final exams

·           Ensuring that participants have a good understanding of the philosophy and practicalities of urban agriculture

·           Report and grant application writing as necessary

·           Preparations for future courses


Eligibility:

·         Must be legally entitled to work in Canada

·         Bilingualism (English and French) is preferred, however written and spoken proficiency in English is required

·         Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree in Education or a related field and experience teaching adults and facilitating adult education OR a Certificate in Adult Education and a minimum of one year’s work experience

·         Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite is essential

·         Applicants must possess a valid Driver’s License and be willing to travel when necessary

·         Applicants should possess the following behavioural competencies: flexibility, teamwork and cooperation, relationship building, listening, understanding and responding, conceptual thinking and information seeking. Other important competencies are: excellent interpersonal and communication skills, ability to plan and organize effectively, an understanding of adult education principles, respect for cultural diversity, and the ability to use a variety of teaching/learning strategies.

 
Applications should consist of a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references, contained within a single .pdf named in the following format: LeadInstructorApplicantName.pdf. Please send applications to executivedirector@fallsbrookcentre.ca with the following subject line: NBUAP Lead Instructor Application. Only those selected for interview will be contacted.

  The Ville Cooperative and Falls Brook Centre do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, colour, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. Members of any minority group are encouraged to apply.

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