Tickets available for our day-long conference in partnership with The York Region Nature Collective!

Growing Roots- Conference Poster

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The York Region Nature Collaborative is excited to partner with the p.i.n.e project for this full day conference with workshops focusing on Naure Connection for Early Years Educators. Participants will learn key methods to confidently facilitate experiences in nature with (groups of) young children (0-6 years).

Educators will further develop their own connection to nature, experience activities, and discuss and learn more about teaching tools such as bird language, fire-making, edible and medicinal plants, mentoring and more.

Keynote: Andrew McMartin from the p.i.n.e project

Andrew believes that dirt under fingernails and rain in a child’s hair are essential components to growing up healthy, resilient, and connected to the place we call home, the local natural environment. He is passionate about education, having spent the better part of the last 20+ years working with children in the outdoors. He’s a certified teacher in Ontario and has taught and traveled around the world as an outdoor educator and adventure guide. Andrew founded the p.i.n.e. project in 2008, and brings 20 years of teaching experience in the outdoors, and 15+ years of nature based mentoring and community building work with affiliate and parent organizations across North America.

Schedule of Events

8:30-9:30 – Sign in, breakfast, and Marketplace

9:30 – 10:30 – Andrew McMartin Keynote

10:30-11:45 – Workshop Session A

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch and Marketplace

1:00-2:15 – Workshop Session B

2:15- 3:30 – Workshop Session C

Workshop Descriptions

Choose three out of the following five workshops:

Wild about Plants – In this session, participants will learn to identify key edible and medicinal plants, have a chance to taste them, and learn ways to engage children with the local plants around them.

Birds and Bird Language – In this workshop session, participants will learn about the different voices of various birds, what “bird language” is, and learn activities to use with children to inspire awareness and understanding of birds throughout the seasons.

Working with Fire – Fire is magic. It draws people young and old, and there are so many lessons it can teach. From learning about how to build a fire in a variety of conditions, to seeing and engaging with several ways to make fire (matches, flint and steel, friction), this session will focus on hands on experience, while discussing risks, rewards, and responsibilities that fire can create for kids.

Mentoring Techniques – The backbone of connecting people to nature is quality mentoring. This session will cover techniques to integrate into your program planning, including how to practice mentoring with kids in small or large groups. Key areas of focus will be storytelling, questioning, and creating multifaceted lesson designs to meet many needs. We will also review key resources that can support educators in this area moving forward.

Tracking the Stories of the Landscape – This workshop will introduce participants to the mysteries and clues left behind by the creatures found in nature. Participants will learn beginner level tracks and signs, questioning methods to deepen the experience with students, and further resources for independent learning.

Kids Camp

Want to bring your 4-11 year old along? Sign them up for our Nature Camp, run by the p.i.n.e project team. For more details click here!