(Ottawa) – The Victoria Day weekend marks the beginning of summer for many Canadians and the Canadian Wildlife Federation is offering people opportunities that suit a variety of personal interests and activities to connect with our incredible wildlife and nature.
The 6th Annual CWF Walk for Wildlife kicked off on April 10th during National Wildlife Week and wraped up on May 31st. The campaign encourages people to connect with the natural spaces and species in their own areas, and then include the kilometres walked in the national tally by registering their walk on-line at WalkforWildlife.ca. This year’s theme, Wild Migrations, raised awareness about the incredible journeys migrating species make each year. Participants could choose to walk for one or many of the twenty featured at-risk migrators and collect pledges to support research and education programs about migrating species at risk.
In Toronto on May 30, CWF hosted its flagship Walk for Wildlife event at the Rouge National Urban Park. This free public event included live music with Juno Award winning singer/songwriter Tomi Swick and live animals. Guided nature walks featuring experts from Parks Canada and CWF along with an interactive Green Screen for family fun photos were also part of the event.
Whether it is in a park, forest or in a backyard, a night under the stars camping is a perfect outdoor adventure. CWF’s Great Canadian Campout initiative is aiming to have one million people camping by Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. Canadians are encouraged to visit GreatCanadianCampout.ca and make their commitment to camp. Each participant is entered to win this year’s draw for CWF’s Ultimate Camping Gear Prize Pack.
For those who spend their summer lakeside, Love Your Lake, a joint Watersheds Canada and CWF program offers waterfront property owners helpful tools and information to naturalize their shorelines and help keep their lake healthy. Recreational boaters and paddlers can visit WildAboutSport.ca to learn about best practices on the water.
Gardening enthusiasts can create much needed habitat for our pollinators like beautiful yet endangered monarch butterflies whose populations are dwindling. By planting native plants including milkweed, the monarch favourite, people can enjoy these lovely creatures in their backyard or balcony gardens. Or, by building or putting up a bat house, bats will enjoy a safe haven and keep mosquitoes at bay. Monitoring and reporting activity of bat houses at Helpthebats.ca helps CWF scientists with important information and assists with bat research including white nose syndrome that is decimating three species of bats.
For the citizen scientist or the active do-it-yourselfer, plan to join CWF in the Parks Canada series of Bio Blitz programs taking place in national parks across the country. Participants will enjoy an expert guided nature walk and contribute to volunteer-based biological inventories of the areas.
“No matter what your interests or where you live, wildlife is all around us and yours to discover,” says Wade Luzny, CWF CEO and Executive Vice-President. “Our country is filled with incredible wildlife and natural spaces to explore whether you are downtown in an urban area or in a remote region. We encourage everyone to get outside and enjoy all the rich experiences nature has to offer. These natural treasures are ours to cherish and conserve for future generations.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.