There's always something new to discover at FortWhyte Alive.
Children running carefree through the forest. Having conversations on tree stumps. Balancing atop fallen logs. The imagery around Forest School – a worldwide movement focused on bringing pre-school-aged children back outside – paints a picture of a magical childhood in the woods.
In fact, “magical” is exactly how outside observers often describe what they see at Forest School in session.
Most often, Forest School is a pre-school alternative favored by parents that are passionate about spending time outdoors, and about protecting the environment. They want to nurture that love in their own children from a young age, and lay the foundation for a life of environmental stewardship.
But the end of the day – is Forest School really making a difference? If so, how?
Originating in Scandinavia, Forest School is an educational approach that has been around for more than 50 years. Today, there are thousands of schools around the world, and the Forest School approach is taking root across Canada.
Forest School is centered on giving children regular and repeated access to the same natural space while expanding their knowledge through experiential, inquiry-based, and play-based learning.
In our community, we’ve witnessed a strong, and growing, interest in the Forest School approach. The FortWhyte Forest School launched its first session in the fall of 2016, and we’ve seen many families grow and flourish with the program since then.
Studies suggest that the Forest School approach to learning yields innumerable benefits to children and their families. Time spent in nature – particularly, regular and repeated access to the same natural space – has incredible benefits on preschool-aged children, including:
Great! But that’s not all. Research also shows that children that participate in Forest School programs come away with an increased knowledge of the natural world around them, meaning the Forest School approach is also of service to the planet.
The place-based connection developed at Forest School is foundational to children’s relationship with the land.
And you know that, more than ever, we need to be equipped for the environmental changes and challenges that are affecting us today.
But first, we need to heal our disconnect with nature. That’s why regular and repeated access to the same natural space has such a powerful impact.
We believe that education – in this case, early childhood education – is on the front lines of making meaningful progress on climate change. And we believe that we’re doing our part by encouraging those early connections to the land.
Often, as adults, we can’t see the connections between environmental issues and daily actions. But kids do. Children are instinctively great at making these connections.
We believe that we need to focus on educating young people, not simply because they'll age into being the climate leaders of tomorrow, but because we all know that kids are our greatest teachers today.
Interested in learning more about Forest School? Join us for our Forest School Open House, happening Saturday, May 11. This family-friendly event is free, but registration is required. Contact Renee at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Celebrate Mom and Mother Earth.
Inspired by spring, we've rounded up our pick of Mother's Day gifts that will make an impact. The best part? 100% of your purchase supports environmental education in our community.
Spend time in nature with your family all year long with a FortWhyte Alive Family Membership. As members, your family will be able to explore the trails and connect with nature whenever you want to celebrate mom – and Mother Earth.
Place a love note on our Wetland Boardwalk Trail this Mother's Day. Your personalized plaque will be placed along one of FortWhyte’s best known and most loved trails, a floating pathway through a lively wetland ecosystem that boasts a diversity of flora and fauna. The trail is the ideal spot to stroll — or to simply pause, relax and reflect.
Let us take the work out of Mother’s Day – we have a jam packed schedule for the whole family to enjoy together! Start your morning off with a beautiful brunch and a gentle stroll on our trails. Keep a lookout for goslings, ducklings and bison calves.
Visit the Nature Shop and stock up on gardening books, planters, and garden ornaments during our Mother’s Day Sale. As always, the Nature Shop takes care to source local, Canadian, handmade, and sustainable products so you can feel good about your purchases.
We truly believe that exploring, learning and connecting with nature is how we can create change in the world. People like you make it all possible — if you've been waiting to join us for a visit, there's never been a better time than now.
Thank you for celebrating Earth Day with us!
You came out in the thousands yesterday to explore, learn and connect with nature — and get inspired to take meaningful action in honour of the earth.
Huge thanks are in order to all of the exhibitors, performers and the many volunteers that made this event possible:
Finally, thanks to all of you that came out to take some time out to honour and appreciate this incredible planet. After a full day of new faces and meaningful conversation, we are feeling inspired and energized by each and every one of you.
Earth Day is an important reminder to us all that we can and do make a difference.
Photos by Heather Woods Photography
As host to 110,000 visitors annually, FortWhyte impacts and influences Winnipeggers and beyond. We’re here to share knowledge and inspire you to make healthier choices for your family and for our planet.
Our goal is to be a living, breathing example of what a sustainable future looks like.
Here’s how we have been working hard to lead the way...
In 2015, we released our five year sustainability strategy – a guide to help us reduce our ecological footprint as well as give you the tools to make more informed and sustainable choices. Now in the fifth year of our plan, we’ve made great strides towards accomplishing our goals and we’re excited to share some of our recent accomplishments.
In 2018 we:
If you’re interested in more information, the full report can be found here. Our sustainability strategy is a living breathing document, stay tuned for updates on our vision for 2020 and beyond!
We'd love to hear more about what you are doing to lighten your load on the Earth and live more sustainably. Drop us a line and share your thoughts!
Place a love note on our Wetland Boardwalk Trail, a meaningful gift perfect for graduation, weddings, and other milestone celebrations.
Your personalized plaque will be placed along one of FortWhyte’s best known and most loved trails, a floating pathway through a lively wetland ecosystem that boasts a diversity of flora and fauna. The trail is the ideal spot to stroll — or to simply pause, relax and reflect.
Boardwalk plaques are a long-time favourite gift for:
Proceeds from your gift are directly invested in the landscape that makes FortWhyte Alive a magical place for people like you and your family.
Boardwalk plaques are stainless steel, measure 5” x 2” and allow up to three lines for your personalized message. At $125 each, you will receive a $90 tax receipt and a complimentary family day pass so that you may come to visit your special part of this beautiful trail.
To learn more about boardwalk plaques and place your order, please contact Alice Luca at email@example.com or by phone at (204) 989-8355 x 205.