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New Year Nature
December 30, 2020 by Haya Aldoori

In the start of a new year, we become filled with an extra special kind of hope and excitement for all the new things that the coming year will bring. At the High Park Nature Centre, we see this time as a great opportunity for us to reflect and set (or reset) our intentions for connecting with the natural world.

Connection to nature can play an important role in supporting our mental and physical well-being and this past year, the desire to support this connection and to escape into a green space became increasingly apparent.

Photo by Andrew Yee

Since intention setting is such a deeply personal experience, we would like to offer you some gentle suggestions for nature connections that you can incorporate into the intentions you choose to set this new year:

  1. Slow down – Find a sit spot and observe the movements of the natural world around you, whether that’s watching an animal live its life or the plants swaying in the breeze. Even in a space you are very familiar with, you are guaranteed to learn and experience something new.
  2. Engage your senses – Take your nature experiences to the next level by engaging all of your senses (including your sense of wonder and community). This can look like using natural objects to create art, asking “I wonder” questions, looking for small things with a magnifying glass, smelling a nearby flower, or listening to the chorus of bird song.
  3. Reflect – Whether it’s in a nature journal or just in your mind, make note of your nature experiences. How did you feel? What did you learn? What did you notice?
  4. Participate – Get involved in activities that teach you about nature, take you out in nature, or that benefit nature. Join a nature club, attend a workshop, participate in a shoreline-cleanup, volunteer for a community program- there are so many options!

As we move forward with COVID-19 recovery, many people have expressed that they would like to be connected with more opportunities to experience natural spaces in parks and would like to move indoor events and activities outdoors into parks to better allow for physical distancing. The HPNC is determined to make these opportunities available for people of all ages while continuing to inspire wonder, knowledge, and respect for nature in beautiful High Park.

Happy New Year!

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