There’s nothing like a day spent in nature to inspire curiosity, awe and confidence in children. When I think back to my childhood, my fondest memories are hiking with my brothers and parents out in nature. From a kid’s perspective, a local conservation park is a wild and magical place, full of new sights, sounds and experiences to explore. The possibilities at a conservation park are as vast as nature itself. All members of the family can discover their own nature experience and spend valuable time together creating new memories and traditions.
Richard Louv, in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, coined the phrase ‘nature deficit disorder’, describing how people, especially children, spend less time outdoors. Children have an instinctive love for nature but they’re limited by less access to natural areas and the ever present lure of the screen. I’m always amazed to see kids completely awestruck when they’re out in nature. It’s a whole new world to them and the experience can be transformative. The same just can’t be said for the latest release on Xbox.
The great thing about conservation parks is that family outings don’t require a big time commitment, advance planning or preparation. They can be spontaneous, quick and stress-free. That’s because they’re located so close to home. They’re a tranquil break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They encourage physical exercise and offer all the benefits of being in fresh air.
New for 2015: CVC has partnered with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to offer a joint Conservation Parks Membership. This is the best way to explore nature in the GTA. Each conservation park offers something unique. From boating at Island Lake, camping at Albion Hills or picnicking at Belfountain, with so many parks to explore, the possibilities are endless.
The Conservation Parks Membership covers general admission to all of CVC and TRCA parks, including Albion Hills, Belfountain, Boyd, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Bruce’s Mill, Glen Haffy, Heart Lake, Island Lake, Ken Whillans, Kortright Centre, Petticoat Creek and Terra Cotta. It also covers parking, admission to special events such as the Maple Syrup Festival, Kite Festival, and more.
If you’ve never visited one of our parks, what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favour and reconnect with nature. You won’t regret it.
Article by CVC’s Jon MacMull