Back to Stories

Together, we are rooted in nature

Posted on September 29, 2021

You have made our roots stronger.

In a year like no other, your support created a safe space for others to find hope and ground themselves in the natural world.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned through the unpredictability of 2020, it’s that being in nature transforms the way we feel. It gives us a sense of peace. It offers comfort and a new perspective of the world around us.

And it’s the contributions from donors, volunteers, members and partners that ensure FortWhyte Alive stays will remain an integral place that offers a source of connection to nature for so many.

Fed by nature, growing to feed the community.

A smaller team of youth on the farm meant that youth like Sara got to expand on their work experience, mastering skills developed in previous years and taking pride in their accomplishments.

“Since there were a lot less people, I got to work independently which I think was good because I got to master my skills I learned from the previous year and I felt lots more pride from the work I’d complete on my own rather than in a big group doing one task.”

Sara’s confidence also grew as she took on more responsibility while soaking in the farm’s peaceful environment. The youth not only had more one-on-one time to deepen their relationships with each other but more time to work alone and peacefully connect with the farm and animals.

"My favourite part was being at the farm in a peaceful environment."

Sara and her colleagues were empowered to be responsible for the market – representing the farm in such a public-facing way meant they developed a sense of mastery and pride in customer service, and confidence using a cash register – something which can help them access future employment.

Taking lessons from nature, to adapt in schools.

From summer student to part-time staff while working on an Education degree, her time at FortWhyte Alive set the stage for a professional love of outdoor learning. Now a French Immersion Middle School teacher, Carla loves bringing her classes to FortWhyte Alive.

When traditional field trips were no longer possible, your support allowed us to meet schools where they were at. Carla helped pilot At Your School programs, bringing FortWhyte Alive into schoolyards as a crucial resource for educators.

"I had the knowledge but needed the support."

Virtual programs and other adaptations allowed us to reach even more Manitoban students. Educational videos aimed at home learners and nature day camps during June school closures provided support to parents and teachers.

You made that possible. Because of you, thousands of students were able to access nature while everything else was in flux. The method of delivery may change but the core lesson remains: time in nature is good for you, no matter your age.

Finding peace in nature, during a difficult year.

For Audrey and her family, 2020 was a year of connection. What would normally be a year filled with busy schedules and visits with the grandparents, turned out to be a year spent in nature.

“It has given us a sense of peace and calm in an otherwise chaotic time…A time to recharge, so to speak.”

The time they spent prioritizing her kids’ exploration of nature has been invaluable.

"Spending time in nature gave our minds a break from the stress and confusion from this year and gave us something more relaxing to focus on."

“Some of our favourite memories at FortWhyte Alive this past year have been seeing the wildlife. Like the bison and four deer we saw a few weeks ago while walking the trails. Or the minnows and turtles we saw while critter dipping on one of the boardwalks last summer.”

It was their membership that kept the Walton family coming back.

Thanks to you, families found a sense of peace and calm in an otherwise chaotic time.

——

In a year filled with uncertainty, your support has grounded us. Thank you for your generous investments in our work.