As summer approaches and people look for things to do over the coming weeks, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is offering fun ideas that help out nature.
Our individual actions can have big impacts and NCC has launched its second annual cross-country Small Acts of Conservation challenge.
It consists of a checklist of small-scale, individual actions that will benefit people and communities along with wildlife and their habitats.
NCC wants to show people that by completing fun and easy acts individually they can have a collective impact for nature. For example, planting native trees, installing rain barrels, spending time in nature, building bat boxes and bee hotels. People can also lend nature a hand at Conservation Volunteers events on NCC properties across Canada.
To track participants during the challenge, an online gallery maps the locations of people participating in their own Small Acts of Conservation, showing how they are part of something great from coast to coast to coast.
People are encouraged to share their acts on social media using the hashtag #SmallActs.
The campaign ends August 12, and a random draw for a $1,000 nature prize pack will be made on August 13! More information can be found at smallactsofconservation.ca.
“This program is intended to help connect Canadians with nature and inspire them to help us conserve our country’s special places,” says Aaron Bilyea, NCC’s director of marketing. “Local activities and small acts of conservation can make a big difference and lead to a collective national effort. These acts not only protect nature, but also the health of our communities and our own well-being.”
Small Acts of Conservation ideas
- Volunteer: The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has completed 200 community projects in the past 11 years with the help of Conservation Volunteers. We invite people of all ages to get involved with fun, hands-on projects that will benefit Canada’s natural spaces for years. NCC is grateful for all of the support that our Conservation Volunteers have given us to help achieve our conservation goals in the communities where we work across the country. More than 60 events are scheduled this season, with more to come. For a list of events, visit conservationvolunteers.ca.
- Let nature be your compass: Dedicate one hour a day for time in nature, such as visiting a natural area or park near you. Plan a visit to one of NCC`s Nature Destinations. Learn more about these special places at naturedestinations.ca.
- Meet your nature neighbours: Visit iNaturalist.ca or download the app and upload photos of the plants and animals in your yard or nearby natural areas to learn more about the species found there. Use iNaturalist to identify invasive plants and then use NCC`s native gardening species guidehttp://www.natureconservancy.ca/native101 to learn what species to replace them with. By uploading photos and connecting with a network of Canadian scientists and naturalists online, you can learn more about wildlife.
- Be a watershed warrior: The health of Canada’s water is key to our well-being. Volunteer with NCC and get involved in tree planting or other restoration projects that improve water quality. Reduce water runoff from your property by installing rain barrels and directing water into your gardens.
- Power to the pollinators: Native bees, butterflies and other pollinators help the plants around us thrive, and there is plenty we can do to support their important work. Build a bee hotel. Plant milkweed and grow native flowers and plants on your own to attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Create spaces in your yard for native bees to nest and overwinter by placing dead tree branches among your garden plants and having open areas of soil in your garden
- Be batty: Bats are misunderstood mammals that are facing many threats, including habitat loss and a disease called white-nose syndrome. You can help Canadian bats in many ways. Build and install a bat box or become a bat watcher by converting your smartphone into a bat detector. If you have to remove bats from your home, use humane practices to do so.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. Visitnatureconservancy.ca.