The Child and Nature Alliance of Canada fosters meaningful connections with the outdoors for children and youth. We believe that all children and youth should have the opportunity to play and learn in forests, parks, meadows, and mud puddles.
We work to connect children and youth with nature through policy, research, and practice.
We aim to have a deep impact on families and communities across the country. This is woven into all our key initiatives including Forest School Canada (FSC), the major educational arm of CNAC; the Ottawa Forest and Nature School, our demonstration school and in-forest home of CNAC; the Natural Leader Alliance (NLA); and our research and policy development efforts.
Passionate about the potential of nature to educate and inspire children and youth, our staff team and board of directors play a vital role in our work. Learn more about the team and how to get in touch with us below.
Chloe holds a degree in Earth Science from the University of Victoria. While educated in Science, she is keenly interested and has found her niche in working with people on the social/cultural benefits of the natural world. Connecting people with Nature is important to Chloe because she loves the land and cares about conservation - but most of all, she wants to bring the wonderful feelings she's had outdoors to others. We are all part of Nature, and so spending time outdoors brings us a lot of balance. By helping to create balanced, happy people we can accomplish many societal goals, even beyond conservation.
Tricia enjoys inspiring and mentoring educators to take children outdoors in nearby nature. She also loves to see the outdoors open up to those who face barriers visiting and interacting with natural environments. She delights in telling wild stories about science and nature, is rather fond of muddy puddles, and has been known to wax poetic about slugs and slime molds.
Charlotte now works primarily as a substitute-teacher-by-choice in K-12 classrooms, with additional time spent in Montessori pre-schools, extracurricular forest school programs, and as a facilitator for CNAC’s professional development courses. Her practice is shaped by the Circle of Courage philosophy and a deep belief in the educative power of free play.
At present, Charlotte lives in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Nature’s influence lead Carly to pursue degrees in GeoScience, Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism and a Bachelor of Education. She has travelled many hills and valleys around the world, lead wilderness trips, created her own forest and nature school program in the Madawaska Valley, and supported schools in Renfrew County to encourage nature based play and learning in their school yards and surrounding wild spaces. Carly is currently working as a supply teacher with the Renfrew County School Board as well as facilitating CNAC Practitioner Courses, where she seeks to incorporate her skills as a nature mentor inspiring others to deepen their own connection.
Juwain is currently the Program Site Administrator for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board Outdoor Education Centres. Juwain oversees the development of inquiry-based, curriculum-linked, outdoor education programming for teachers and students in Ottawa area schools. Juwain supports the outdoor education centre staff, classroom teachers, and students daily, so they are comfortable using the outdoors as their classroom. When not in the forest at the outdoor education centres, Juwain can be found cycling, skiing, and gardening on her hobby farm east of Ottawa.
De 2013 à 2015, elle a participé au projet ministériel de l’Ontario afin d’approfondir les pratiques nécessaires pour la mise en oeuvre de l’apprentissage par l’enquête dans la salle de classe. Aussi, elle a participé à l'élaboration de plusieurs ressources sur l’enquête en autre Curiosité naturelle, édition 1 et 2.
Also, in 2015, she has been recognized by her peers by receiving Capital Educators’ Awards and the Bernard Grandmaître award, Intervenante en éducation. Passionately curious and always on the conquest to learn, you will always see her with a new pedagogical ressource in my hand. Loving nature and inquiry based learning, it was an obvious choice for her to explore land based and play in her pedagogy and to join Forest School Canada.
Natalia first joined CNAC as a Playworker for the pilot year of the Play in Parks program in 2018. After seeing the wonderful impact that unstructured and nature-based play had on children, families and their communities through the program, Natalia was inspired to continue working in child and youth development with a focus on access, equity and inclusion.
In her spare time, Natalia can be found trying out new recipes, camping, hiking, traveling and spending time outdoors, and writing and performing music in the community.
Board of Directors
Her professional experience has spanned diverse industries including construction, high tech, outdoor recreation and the charitable sector, earning her a reputation as tenacious solutions-oriented and people-focused business leader. Jenn joined Power To Be Adventure Therapy in 2009 as the Director of Operations as the organization embarked on double-digit growth serving the needs of youth and families in need of support in BC.
She got involved with CNAC through the Natural Leaders Alliance and is committed to engaging more youth to the outdoors and leveraging more diverse voices in the outdoor education world.
Her training includes a B.A. in Geography/Environmental Studies, a Masters in Public Management , certification from the International Association of Public Participation, and an upbringing spent over 4 continents. She lives in Gatineau. Québec, and enjoys being an aunt, spending time in or on water, and harvesting wild foods to share with loved ones.
Wesley Clover Parks was established in 2014 when the Wesley Clover Foundation took over the operations of the former Nepean National Equestrian Park and the adjacent Ottawa Municipal Campground.
With its deep community roots — Wesley Clover Parks — will grow into one of Ottawa’s robust community destinations where residents and visitors will enjoy the rural setting, the trails and the opportunities for all-season outdoor recreation, learning and sports.
Karen’s vision is also to see Wesley Clover Parks deliver a sustained and positive economic impact to the Nation’s Capital, by attracting tourists, competitors and sports teams from around the world. People from all across Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia have already chosen Wesley Clover Parks Campground as a holiday destination while enjoying the sites and activities of the region.
The Wesley Clover Foundation is committed to the evolving Wesley Clover Parks into a vibrant international hub that is recognized for World-Class Equestrian events, Nordic Skiing trails and facilities; and where the elite sports competitors meet, compete and learn about nature and how to sustain its beauty.
During her time with CFC, she has been responsible for all financial reporting as well as overseeing HR, IT, and property management. She was also part of the incubation team that helped to create and run Rideau Hall Foundation over a four-year period.
Lesley lives in Stittsville with her husband and four children. She has seen first hand the importance of learning through play and getting outside to experience nature.
In 2011, Ian became President and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada. During his leadership, he embraced CFC's ‘all for community’ vision and mobilized its diverse network to address complex community issues across our country. Ian also played an integral role in founding and incubating the Rideau Hall Foundation, as its first Executive Director.
A two-time Olympian in field hockey, Ian is well known in the sport community for his ability to bring groups together to affect change. He lives with his family in Chelsea, Quebec where he dedicates himself to his community. He founded and coaches the Chelsea Phoenix Field Hockey Club.
Partners & Supporters
Partnerships are at the heart of our success at the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada. Some of our partnerships involve collaboration with governments, universities and research institutions and other community groups. Others bring us together with corporate partners who are committed to building our success through fundraising and awareness. We also value the important contributions of philanthropic organizations that support our work through their granting.
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
We partner with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to deliver play-based, inquiry-driven, emergent Forest School programming to children (and their educators) in Junior Kindergarten through to grade 6, both at our forest site and in schoolyards and Nearby-Nature. We also offer workshops and courses in land-based, play-based education for teachers and early childhood educators.
The Lawson Foundation is a national family foundation that invests in and engages with ideas, people and organizations that contribute to the wellbeing of children and youth and their development as active and engaged members of society. The Lawson Foundation is a major funder and supporter of our work. CNAC is one of a core group of organizations that are active in the execution of its Outdoor Play Strategy for which Lawson provides funding.