Wild About Vancouver has split its seams. The work and networks of WAV (pronounced “wave”) now extend well beyond the boundaries of Vancouver, British Columbia. What started as a grassroots movement in 2015 spearheaded with the zestful enthusiasm of Dr. Hart Banack, and a team of outdoor education advocates, has morphed into an incorporated non-profit society in British Columbia called Wild About Outdoor Learning Society. It has retained and expanded its original mandate to encourage people to #GetOUTdoors and #GetINvolved in their local community. Wild About Outdoor Learning Society has adopted educational, environmental, recreational, and charitable goals to educate and support the people of British Columbia. Wild About goals are based on the body of research documenting the many ways that time spent outdoors positively impacts health and wellness, as well as environmental outcomes.
Wild About Outdoor Learning Society has four goals that are deeply entwined and articulated in our constitution.
- Wild About Outdoor Learning will provide options and support personal engagement in accessible outdoor opportunities for people in British Columbia to fully participate to advance their learning, physical, mental health, and environmental engagement.
- Wild About Outdoor Learning will provide opportunities for people to build community through actively participating outdoors in social activity.
- Wild About Outdoor Learning will heighten the potential for environmental stewardship by educating and engaging British Columbians, outdoors and on the land.
- Wild About Outdoor Learning will strengthen networking across the groups involved in promoting the value of time spent outdoors to create connections and structure collaborative activities between local groups including families, youth, Indigenous, seniors, new British Columbians, community organizations, schools, teacher education programs, and other allies.
Wild About Outdoor Learning Society success will depend on the enthusiasts who share a passion for the outdoors to improve physical health, mental health, environmental relationships, and community engagement for the people of British Columbia. As with Wild About Vancouver (WAV), Wild About will do what we can to network and support groups with like-minded interests and goals.
The annual Tidal WAV (pronounced “wave) is a success that will continue and become a model for other communities to plan, promote and sponsor outdoor learning festivals in their own communities. Perhaps Wild About West Van, Wild About Chilliwack, Wild About Prince George and Wild About ??? (Hopefully your community in B.C.) Eventbrite sessions, TwitterChats, and face2face sessions will provide information and templates to facilitate fundraising, planning, and implementation of events for people in the community to #getOUTdoors and #getINvolved in an outdoor learning festival.
We will continue to encourage participation in adding to the lesson plans ideas for educators and provide educational sessions to support educators. Last year Meg Zeni’s online session, Outdoor Play and Learning in the Rain, was well subscribed to and perfect for those of us living in the temperate rainforest. Karen Addie’s session provided useful connections between books and science instruction. The list of 100 books to support outdoor learning collated by the BC Literacy Association for the Tidal WAV 2022 also serves to be a helpful resource.
We welcome and encourage mass participation in Wild About Outdoor Learning Society. Our members and community partners will be vital in sharing out the information, networking opportunities, and educational events in their local community. To serve on the board of directors, steering committee, or vote at our AGM, you will need to be a member of the Wild About Outdoor Learning Society. Stay tuned for how to become a member.