News and views on conservation in Canada, and updates from CPAWS chapters across the country.
Being able to explore and hike through Jasper National Park is a privilege that many local Canadians cherish, and many tourists travel across the world to experience. At the same time, Canada has a responsibility to protect this environment, to preserve biodiversity and landscape for future generations to enjoy.
My experience with the parks shifted as I got older and I developed a love of photography. Now, they are not only places I continue to be drawn back to because of the wonderful sense of calm and peace the parks provide to me, but also as a limitless subject to explore through my lens. As photographers, we have an added responsibility to exemplify respect for our surroundings. Not only must we show respect to other photographers and visitors of the parks, but we must inform ourselves of the regulations regarding wildlife, land, and photography.
Attending a presentation (Parks and Protected Areas: The True Alberta Advantage) by Alison Ronson, Executive Director of CPAWS Northern Alberta, I learned about the relationship between the increase in both children and adults experiencing mental health problems, including attention deficit disorder (ADD) and anxiety, and the decrease in the amount of time spent outdoors in nature. Although this did not surprise me, I was comforted to learn that others could also be experiencing the same feelings of relief from anxiety from being in such rich natural landscapes.
A few months ago, I was introduced to the concept of Urban National Parks. I am sure many are aware of the term ‘urban parks’ or ‘urban natural parks’; they are found in many cities and towns across the world. Yet, adding the word “national” in the middle changes things up a bit...Despite being Canada’s largest urban park, Edmonton’s river valley has not been established as a National Park nor has there been an official initiative to establish it as one. Should it be? Would taking the river valley to this “next level” be feasible or even a good idea for Edmonton?
Since I was a little girl, I have had a craving for the outdoors. This meant exploring my backyard, playing in the park, going to my cabin, and making trips out to the Rockies with my friends and family. Just simply ‘being’ outside made me happy, and of course, it still does. For a city girl like me, sometimes it is hard to immerse oneself in nature without driving a distance. Edmonton, however, is a little different than most cities — it has the privilege of existing along a portion of the North Saskatchewan River, an area that locals refer to as the river valley, and which I know as my favourite part of the city.