Take a walk on the wild side, create a piece of art inspired by nature, and get on board for an exciting ocean rowing expedition. National Wildlife Week has begun.
“It’s our 50th anniversary and we want everyone to connect, create and celebrate,” says Wade Luzny, CEO Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Wildlife Federation. “Through the CWF Get to Know Contest, the CWF Walk for Wildlife and the CWF Salish Sea Expedition we are taking a collective approach to challenge nature deficit disorder and reconnect youth with the outdoors.”
The CWF Get to Know Contest inspires youth to get outside, get active, and “get to know” their neighbours of other species. Open April 8 to July 16, the contest invites youth to submit original works of art, writing, photography, videography and music inspired by their wild neighbours. The goal is be as creative as possible. The launch of the contest coincides with National Wildlife Week (April 8-14) and the launch of CWF’s Walk for Wildlife, a national campaign encouraging people to explore the natural spaces that surround them, then log their kilometres at WalkforWildlife.ca.
To make an even bigger impact, CWF is also sponsoring OAR Northwest’s circumnavigation of Vancouver Island aboard the world’s most technologically advanced ocean rowboat. The CWF Salish Sea Expedition will feature streaming video and blog entries so the public can follow the crew virtually every stroke of the way.
The rowers may encounter a fury of sea foam, giant waves, bone-chilling temperatures, and dense fog. Additionally, coastal navigation will demand vigilance in the face of sleep deprivation as the athletes row in two hour shifts, two rowers at a time, for 24 hours a day. The purpose: to engage youth and support marine conservation.
As the public follows the expedition online, they will be inspired to get outside and connect with nature. Youth that transform their outdoor experiences into art and enter the CWF Get to Know Contest will have the opportunity to win great prizes including: having their artwork featured in CWF’s WILD Magazine, the 2013 CWF Get to Know Calendar, or the Wildlife Habitat Canada 2013 Youth Conservation Stamp; attending the week-long Art & Nature Camp hosted by Parks Canada at Point Pelee National Park; art packs from Opus, digital cameras from Panasonic, books from Scholastic; and more.
CWF Get to Know Contest launch events will take place at more than 20 sites across Canada. Two of the west coast contest launches will even feature appearances by the OAR Northwest expedition crew, which includes Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist Adam Kreek. A complete list of launch event locations is available at GetToKnow.ca/Events.
“We’re pulling out all the stops,” Luzny says. “We can’t afford to sit on the sidelines and watch people lose touch with our wild species and spaces. We have too much to lose, and everything to gain. CWF may be 50, we’re not too old to try something new to encourage stewardship.”
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, developing and delivering education programs, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.
About the Get to Know Program
For 13 years, the Get to Know Program has connected hundreds of thousands of young people with nature by encouraging them to “get to know” their wild neighbours. Founded by Robert Bateman, the program provides youth with direct, hands-on learning opportunities through cutting-edge educational initiatives based on current research and developed in conjunction with leading educators. The Get to Know Program envisions a continent-wide shift in thinking towards an understanding that conserving biodiversity is our shared responsibility. New to the CWF Get to Know Contest this year: the Rivers to Oceans gallery and the music category! For more information visit GettoKnow.ca.
About OAR Northwest
Founded in 2005, OAR Northwest connects with partners to reach its expedition and program goals, while propelling youth, community members and businesses to their own extraordinary achievement. The crew for next two CWF expeditions, includes a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island and a mid-Atlantic crossing. The CWF Salish Sea Expedition launched April 11 in Vancouver and concludes in Vancouver near the end of April. For more information, to enroll in the education program or follow the expedition, visit OARNorthwest.com