The Natural Leaders Alliance (NLA) is a growing alliance of young Canadians who are working together to give their peers opportunities to get outside and have fun! As a youth-led initiative of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, we recognize the importance of spending time outdoors and aim to reconnect all Canadian youth to nature by empowering a strong network of leaders across the country.
The NLA started to sprout in 2009 at the Get Outside! It’s In Our Nature Forum in Victoria, BC. Since that inaugural event the Alliance’s foundation has developed into a ‘for youth, by youth’ organization focusing on outdoor events, awareness campaigns, and longer lasting nature programs.
Through the combined success of numerous projects, the NLA has provided more than 1000 youth across the country the opportunity to get outside and have fun in our awesome natural surroundings! Presentations have also been made in local schools and national conferences about the importance of getting outside.
As the child and youth in nature movement continues to gain momentum across Canada, the NLA aims to develop and empower a diverse and focused core leadership team that will work on advancing this movement on a national level.
Currently being developed by a Core Team of Natural Leaders, the Alliance is looking to grow and evolve in the coming year! While events have been a successful part of the NLA, we are now looking toward a more sustainable and further reaching approach in getting youth outside.
Natural Leaders Summit 2014 The Natural Leaders Alliance (NLA) National Core Team Summit was held in Kananaskis County on August 6-9th. Thirteen Canadian youth from across the country came together to participate in leadership training, networking and developing a strategic plan dictating the future of the NLA. While in attendance the Core Team participated in several workshops including introductions to the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Federation , the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Parks Council’s youth online portal GOT (Get Out To) Parks, MEC Outdoor Nation, Alberta Parks and their new Push to Open initiative, Take Me Outside and Hostelling International. Discussions were also held about the importance of a nature connection, barriers preventing people from accessing nature, creativity and connecting people with nature, as well as strategic planning for the future of the NLA. The NLA Core Team was lucky to hear from several guests throughout the Summit including Randy McLeod (Canadian Wildlife Federation), Adam Kittredge (from musical group Thieves), Anthony Brook (Hostelling International), Collin Harris (Take Me Outside), Don Carruthers Den Hoed & Kieran Dowling (Alberta Parks). A highlight was a visit and welcome from Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, Richard Starke.
The Summit was highly successful in building the Core Team, previously a group of strangers, now intrinsically connected by a shared purpose and passion. The NLA Core Team Summit was essential for the strategic development of the NLA and has solidified the future of this group of young leaders.None of this would have been possible without the support and hard work of our partners and funders. First and foremost, we would like to thank the Canadian Wildlife Federation for providing both financial support and guidance in the planning process. Without the Canadian Wildlife Federation this Summit would not have become a reality. Secondly, we would like to thank the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada for both their financial support and unwavering leadership both in the planning and facilitating stages. We also would like to thank Alberta Parks for their support, enthusiasm, and financial support. Finally, we owe many thanks to the Canadian Rockies Public Schools for hosting us in their incredible outdoor learning facility.
Natural Leaders Alliance is funded by:
The North Face Explore Fund
The Barnes Family Foundation
The Canadian Parks Council