Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia recently had the pleasure of hosting over 330 environmental educators from across Canada during the 2017 Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) conference. So much magic happened in the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens and around campus during the 3-day conference that it’s impossible to put into words. Over 130 presenters shared their stories and environmental education work with delegates. New connections were made, tears of wonder were shed and great ideas were born.
One clear take away from the conference was the feeling of hope for our future from the realization of how many individuals are doing such great work to get people outside and connected to our earth. The range of participants was broad from Parks Canada employees, NGO staff, school teachers, scientists, high school students, indigenous leaders, magazine publishers and so many more.
The underlying message of the conference was simple. If we want to preserve our planet we must first ensure people have positive connections with it. In order to want to conserve something we first must learn to love it. There are a myriad of ways to learn about and connect with our natural world. Getting outside and interacting with nature is easy. It doesn’t have to cost any money, no fancy gear is needed, it can be as simple as starring up at the night sky, taking a walk around the block and listening to the birds, riding to the park for a picnic or dipping toes in the ocean.
For more information EECOM’s past and future conferences go to: http://eecom.org/conferences/