Whether it’s a family barbecue, a cottage weekend, camping or watching the fireworks in the park, as a nation we will be enjoying the summer weather and Canada’s exceptional nature. Many Canadians celebrate Canada Day by getting outside and taking time in nature.
We already know about the valuable health benefits (both mental and physical) of getting outside and talking a walk. But research gives us more information on how Canadians and their families feel about the important role nature plays in their happiness.
Natural areas matter to Canadians. A recent Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) shows that more than 97 per cent of Canadians believe that getting outdoors is important to their family’s well-being. The findings complement an earlier poll that found Canadians are happier when they are connected to nature.
“Our mandate of protecting the land that brings so much joy to Canadians becomes even more important as we learn just how much Canadians depend on it for their own happiness and well-being,” said John Lounds, president and CEO of NCC. “We want to encourage Canadians to go outside and explore what nature has to offer.”
The study found that 90 per cent of Canadians felt that being outdoors in nature is an important element in their family’s recreational activities. In addition, 87 per cent felt that given the choice, they would prefer to spend family time outdoors in nature, rather than indoors.
With 24 per cent of the world’s wetlands, 20 per cent of the world’s surface freshwater, 10 per cent of the world’s forests, and many more globally significant natural assets, Canada enjoys a unique position in the global community. “Nature is Canada’s gift to the world,” says Mr. Lounds, “We still have time to conserve some of these rare landscapes. That’s an opportunity that’s been lost in most countries in the world.”
NCC’s on-the-ground work is led by a team of conservation science professionals who work to protect the best of Canada’s natural spaces and manage and restore them for the long term. This process ensures that the conservation actions (such as buying land, removing invasive weeds or mapping the location of rare species) are efficient and effective.
The organization is able to leverage public and private donations to take advantage of a funding match from the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program. That multiplying effect means more properties are conserved and more wildlife has the opportunity to thrive.
For four years, MoneySense magazine has recognized NCC as one of Canada’s most responsible and efficient charities, with an overall grade of A in the magazine’s Charity 100 ranking.
“NCC is very proud of our standing A grade from MoneySense,” said Mr. Lounds. “Through prudent management, we ensure that 85 per cent of our funds go directly into our conservation work. We believe this is critically important for our supporters, as well as for the plants and wildlife our land conservation work helps to protect.”
“Nature is Canada’s gift to the world. We still have time to conserve some of these rare landscapes. That’s an opportunity that’s been lost in most countries in the world.”
is president and CEO of NCC
For more, visit globeandmail.com/natureconservancy.