Natures ‘Wild Neighbours Society’ is a registered Charity started by Robert Bateman (naturalist and painter) in 1999. Mr. Batemans vision was for “all children to play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives”.
“One of the great tragedies in our civilization is that people don’t know the names of their neighbours – plant and animal species that share their neighbourhood. If you don’t know the names, you don’t care about them and can’t protect biodiversity”
Natures ‘Wild Neighbours Society’ promotes environmental education in hopes of raising a generation of youth inherently aware of their impact on the environment and how their positive interaction with nature and wildlife can help preserve our natural wonders for generations to come.
A world in which all children play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives.
To foster connections between young people and nature by encouraging them to get outside and learn about biodiversity, then expressing their connection through artistic interpretation.
To facilitate peace harmony and respect for nature in the hopes of creating monumental changes that positively affect people, animals and their natural environment.
To facilitate environmental literacy, and encourage commitment to actively making greener, more sustainable choices in daily life, encouraging, discussing, and supporting new ideas for environmental solutions.
Natures Wild Neighbours has several programs/events under its banner:
Wild Festival for Youth
Since 1999 the Wild Festival for Youth has been one of Canada’s leading environmental festivals. The activities offered at the festival are designed to increase youth awareness, knowledge, and understanding of biodiversity in the hundreds of youth who participate. The theme is presented in a fun and interactive manner, focusing on how today’s youth can act as leaders for a more sustainable future.
Our 2019 “20th Anniversary” activities at this all-day event include birdhouse building and painting, Learn to cast & fish, Invasive species identification, Walking Nature’s Way hike, Importance of Bats and Bees presentation, a student painted Banner art project (Bees and Bats), and much more! Students 19 and under must enter through their teacher/school.
Get to Know Project
In 2000, the Get to Know project was established to provide an innovative way for students to connect with nature, develop an understanding, appreciation, and respect for biodiversity, and share their experience through artistic interpretation in an online Gallery. Our annual Get to Know Contest & Exposition begins May 01 and ends November 01 each year.
The Get to Know Contest/Exposition specifically targets School Districts and Youth organizations across Canada and the United States, as well as individuals who want to become involved with this artistic environmental program. The results are a creative collaboration of youth artwork unique to each of their personal environments and experiences, as well as a platform to express their concerns for the environment, and possible ideas and solutions to make our earth healthier.
The Get to Know program keenly fits many aspects of School Curriculums: Environmental Learning, Place Based Learning, Indigenous way of Knowing, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, and Social Responsibility are just a few.
Hike for Health
Hike for Health began in 2015 to simply “get youth outside” to experience nature first hand. “Boots in the Bush” as Mr. Bateman referred to it: “a simple walk outdoors to ground yourself with nature”. We have amalgamated this annual walk with our local MLA, Norm Letnick’s Spring Climb for Health and World Peace the second Saturday of April on Knox Mountain in Kelowna, BC. Anyone Anywhere can have their own “Hike for Health” – just get outside and run, walk, hike, or climb!
Scheduled for September 2019, we are absolutely thrilled to announce our newest addition and partnership: Les Stroud, Star of Survivorman, Musician, Author, Filmmaker and Protector of Lands has joined Natures Wild Neighbours as our Celebrity Partner for this annual, two day environmentally educational “funfest” for youth and adults.
For more details on this incredible opportunity to meet Les Stroud and learn from his musical talent and environmental expertise, please watch for our announcements in May 2019, or contact us for more information.
You can find out more about Les Stroud: Survivorman here. (link this to the page about Les)
Host a Bio Blitz!
Get out doors and discover nature in your own community!! Connect with birds, trees, insects, animals, flowers, trees, clouds, and/or water, anything in your environment that gets your artistic ideas flowing. Everything you need to know about having a Bio Blitz is on our website under “BioBlitz” (is this information is transferred? http://www.get-to-know.org/bioblitz/) Its packed full of how-to information, Leaders Guides, and Promotional Material! Need some ideas and inspiration? Check out our “Educational Resources” http://www.get-to-know.org/education/