The Nature Quest program creates opportunities for people of all ages to grow in their appreciation of the environment and their understanding of the land. Participants are taken on an engaging journey into the unique wildlife habitats and thriving biodiversity of Saskatchewan`s boreal forest region - students and adults are engaged in a dialogue about the ecological and cultural richness of the boreal forest. Through the sharing of First Nation, Métis and non-aboriginal culture, individuals are brought into a new position of awareness of their surroundings. Participants in Nature Quest are challenged to find their own special connection to nature through the dynamic mediums of film, music, science and storytelling. The presentations are given to school students in grades 5 to 12, primarily within the boreal ecoregion, but have expanded to other areas of the province as well.
The Nature Quest Program seeks to share six important messages:
- The world's forests are disappearing
- Saskatchewan's boreal forest presents a large and healthy habitat for wildlife but its long-term health is at risk
- Large, linked protected areas are a key aspect of maintaining wildlife habitat in the boreal forest
- We have a remarkable opportunity in Saskatchewan to plan for sustainable land use and meaningful protection of the forest and wildlife habitat
- The public has a role to play in various ways of supporting conservation initiatives
- Engagement and dialogue on the boreal forest is important in all Saskatchewan communities regardless of location.
Begun in 2004 in partnership with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS - Saskatchewan Chapter), Nature Quest provides presentations, music and storytelling in many schools and communities. Communities are encouraged to develop a deeper connection with the forest and to learn more about biodiversity and habitat for the many creatures that share the forest with the people.
John Murray, a Silviculture Contractor with over thirty years of experience in the Saskatchewan forestry industry, and Joseph Naytowhow, a Plains/Woodland Cree storyteller and musician from the Sturgeon Lake First Nation, custom design the Nature Quest presentations, and then provide these presentations to schools.
Since Nature Quest’s humble roots in 2005, over 14,000 people have been reached by the program! It has gone as far north as Uranium City and as far south as Val Marie.
Other Nature Quest Programming:
In addition to the many in-class presentations throughout Northern and Central Saskatchewan, Nature Quest also coordinates youth photography projects with select schools, provides on-site outdoor programming with classrooms at the Ness Creek Boreal Forest Learning Centre, and along with a First Nations Elder, teaches Treaties to youth, especially those in Treaty Six.
The theme of ‘from the classroom to the field’ is one that Nature Quest is cultivating now and will continue to be promoted into the future.
NQ In kind partners:
NW School Division
Saskatchewan Boreal Forest Learning Centre
King George School - Saskatoon
Sturgeon River Plains Bisons Stewards
Prince Albert Grand Council
The Core Neighbourhood Youth Coop
Aden Bowman Collegiate Institute
Maverick High School