When thinking about big cities like Montreal, Vancouver or Toronto, people often associate terms like buildings, festivals, restaurants and shopping.

We so easily forget that nature is, literally, right around the corner. Whether it’s the raccoon living on a roof or the seal hanging out by the pier, plants and animals are all around us.

Raccoon on bridge @Philip Childs-David | Reflections of Nature Photo Contest Winner 2017

Urban living has made us forget (for the most part) how to appreciate the subtle pleasures that nature has to offer: the melodic songs of the robin, the sweet smell of tulips, the antics of the grazing gopher.

By interacting with other CCC participants, my hope is to discuss and brainstorm ways to better appreciate urban biodiversity. Given the diverse nature of my fellow CCC colleagues, it’ll be interesting to touch base on their insights and innovations.

Keeping that in mind, I would love to use urban biodiversity as a means to get people outside and explore the splendours of the natural world. The psychological and physical benefits of spending a little time outdoors is reason enough to get people moving.

Thankfully, Canada has such a vast and rich amount of wilderness that yearns to be discovered and, more importantly, protected. By having our fellow Canadians out and about, enjoying simple activities like walking in the woods or paddle boarding, public opinion about conservation and environmental protection can continue gaining momentum.

Our country is stunning and it deserves our help to stay that way!

Learn more about the Canadian Conservation Corps.