The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Southern Alberta chapter is celebrating 25 years of delivering award-winning outdoor learning and environmental education to students, seniors, faith groups, New Canadians, and communities across our province!
Since its inception in 1997, CPAWS Southern Alberta’s education program has reached over 165,000 Albertans.
The program teaches environmental literacy and stewardship through interactive experiences like guided hikes up Yamnuska Mountain and snowshoe tours in Kananaskis Country; and, in 2008, the uniquely hands-on program was presented with an Alberta Emerald Award for its innovative approach to outdoor learning. In 2016, it won the Award of Excellence for Outstanding Non-Profit Organization for Environmental Education and Communication.
“A quarter of a century is an incredible milestone for us, but it’s also a shared one. We’re so grateful to all our partners who have worked with us on our collective vision of experiential cross-curricular education, nature connection, and inspiring and empowering eco-action,” says Jaclyn Angotti, the Education Director at CPAWS Southern Alberta.
“At the core of our program is the belief that everyone can benefit from nature-based learning – but we also know that not all Albertans have equal access to it. That’s why a critical component of our work is breaking down barriers for traditionally excluded communities, including rural schools, 2SLGBQIA+ youth, BIPOC folks, New Canadians and ability-diverse individuals,” she adds. “We work with groups like the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Adaptable Outdoors, as well as Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers from Treaty 7 to make our programming more accessible and inclusive.”
“We also deliver our programs for reduced and subsidized rates, or for free, because we believe that outdoor learning, environmental literacy and science-based education have the power to change our world for the better – and that when we understand the value of southern Alberta’s wild spaces and species, we act to protect them.”
To that end, CPAWS Southern Alberta has launched a fundraiser in the hopes of raising $25,000 to support the next 25 years of outdoor education. “We want participants from all walks of life to be able to learn about the gifts that nature has to offer – and how we can give back. But we need our community’s help to do so,” Angotti concludes.
For more information, contact:
Jaclyn Angotti, Education Director
CPAWS Southern Alberta
Vanessa Bilan, Environmental Education Specialist
CPAWS Southern Alberta