Outdoor Living: Back to Nature

Pamela Chan, BCFamily.ca

There is no such thing as bad weather – just bad choices in outerwear.

Since our family moved to Coquitlam two years ago, we’ve been experimenting with walks in neighbouring parks, rivers and lakes that are all new to us. Coquitlam and the surrounding cities of Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge are perched on the edge of vast tracks of open farmland, provincial parks and other natural settings.  What we like about living here is that we can be in more urban communities in the Lower Mainland in under an hour, or sooner by express train, but can also be walking in rural settings in less than half an hour.

The most important lesson we had to learn is one that is a popular belief in countries such as Norway.  There is no such thing as bad weather – just bad choices in outerwear.  Unless the rain is pouring down, we have to think about getting outside when we can.  Even if it’s just to go out in the backyard to kick a ball around or spend some time in the neighbourhood park.  When we go to the local Strong Start, we spend an hour playing outside after the programme ends.

Our children are under five years of age.  While they do voice some opinions, it is really the adults in their lives who make opportunities to spend time outdoors happen.

In recent years there has been an explosion of interest in the topic of outdoor education and getting children back into the natural world. (This includes adults too, of course.)  The breadth of the discussion is so vast  – it is hard to know where to chip away at the information in order to start sharing some of the exciting ideas that are being exchanged.  Finally, after trying to implement the goal of making outdoor time a priority, here is a series dedicated to discovering the outdoors.

Miranda Andersen is a middle school student living in Port Moody, British Columbia and has created a video about nature-deficit disorder.  (This concept is discussed in Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.*) The introduction to her video is a reminder that the efforts of adults to support a child’s access to nature are valuable and make a lifelong impression that is grounded in childhood experiences.

How did your childhood experiences influence your interest in experiencing the outdoors? You can comment about this posting using the comment function below or by visiting the BC Family Facebook page. Your opinion matters so don’t be shy!


Interview with Miranda and her mother Patty (Children and Nature Network)

Miranda Andersen’s website

Miranda Andersen on YouTube

Richard Louv’s website

* BCFamily.ca is a member of the Amazon Associates programme

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *