Partner Feature: CPAWS



CPAWS is Canada’s only charity dedicated to the protection of public land, freshwater, and ocean with a strong national and regional presence across the country. We are Canada’s leader in conservation with more than 50 years of success based on our expertise, public education and advocacy, relationships, and local knowledge. We are a credible, trusted, knowledge-based, nationally coordinated, collaborative organization, focused on conserving nature to respond to the dual crises of accelerated biodiversity loss and climate change.

CPAWS is made up of 13 regional chapters across the country. Each chapter works on different conservation, education, and outreach projects, tailored to the area’s biodiversity and habitats.

Since 1967, CPAWS Southern Alberta has led conservation efforts to protect areas in Banff National Park, Kananaskis, the Whaleback, and the Castle. Our chapter is also a leader in environmental education, offering award-winning programs to help build the next generation of environmental stewards.

CPAWS Saskatchewan works collaboratively with all levels of governments, local communities, industry, and indigenous peoples, to protect the amazing natural places found in our province. Social media, videos, and events are key parts of the environmental education and awareness aspects of our chapter, especially as we slowly come out of the pandemic.

Since 1991, CPAWS Manitoba ensures the voice of conservation is heard on issues affecting our parks and wild spaces. We have helped establish 22 parks and protected areas in our province: an area larger than Lake Winnipeg at nearly 26,000 square kilometers. Our environmental education and nature club programs help to connect thousands of Manitobans to nature each year.

Since it began in 2004, CPAWS New Brunswick has run our Watch Your Paws environmental education programs across the province, inspiring environmental stewardship from the Bay of Fundy to the Atlantic Ocean, and across the Wabanaki (Acadian) Forest. We also run Get Outside! New Brunswick in provincial parks throughout the summer.

CPAWS Ottawa Valley uses environmental education to help connect the community to its current conservation campaigns. Examples of four key opportunities for engagement taking place in 2022 are the Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program, the Dumoine River Art for Wilderness Retreat, Thanks to Nature, and our monthly webinar series, “CPAWS Café”.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Bilan

School Programs

Regional CPAWS Chapters run a variety of nature education programs across the country, open to any teachers who want to inspire environmental stewardship in their schools and classrooms.

In Southern Alberta, CPAWS provides curriculum-linked environmental education for Grades 1-12. Our award-winning experiences are diverse, highly interactive, and most importantly, FUN! There are so many ways to get learning: classroom visits (virtual or in-person), outdoor experiences, or a combination of both.

In Manitoba, CPAWS has developed a curriculum aligned outdoor learning program for ages K-8 with a focus on plants, animals, mindfulness, and the Boreal Forest. These sessions incorporate inquiry, hands-on learning, stations, and group games while students learn to connect with and explore the natural world around them!

In New Brunswick, the Watch Your Paws nature education program introduces youth to local biodiversity and habitats. Students learn how they can be environmental stewards when they are in nature, and how to come up with ideas to help wildlife in their area. Classes, youth groups, and families across the province are also invited to participate in the Watch Your Paws Challenge, by taking action to help protect, care for, or raise awareness of local wildlife.

Photo Credit: Avery Kash

Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program

The Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program (CWSP) is an educational experience, designed and run by CPAWS, to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards in Canada by connecting youth to nature and their local communities. During the program, participants will engage on a CPAWS-led expedition to a regional watershed in need of protection, create a community service project focused on conservation or education, and attend a summit where participants share knowledge and develop skills in civic engagement, conservation, leadership, and advocacy.

Youth in New Brunswick, Southern Alberta, Ottawa Valley, and Manitoba, who are passionate about conservation and stewardship, are invited to apply for the program.  Learn more about CWSP on our website:

Photo Credit: Marcel LeBlanc

Community Programs

This month, CPAWS Southern Alberta is hosting Professional Development sessions as part of Science Odyssey. We will explore how educators can provide inclusive nature connection opportunities that support students’ well-being and engagement in natural science education. Together with our guest speaker Anna-Liza Badaloo we will demonstrate how to take teachers’ favourite environmental lesson plans and apply inclusive, cross-cultural guidelines to make natural science lessons both engaging and equitable. All are welcome! If you are an educator, work with folks outdoors, or are simply a fellow nature enthusiast, please join us at one of our three sessions.

CPAWS Ottawa Valley is hosting a DRAW (Dumoine River Art for Wilderness Retreat) fundraising auction this month. In summer 2021, artists from across the Ottawa River Watershed joined together to learn about conservation issues and opportunities facing the region, created art, and are now using their pieces to help fundraise for wilderness protection. All are welcome to visit this auction, to view the art pieces, and learn more about the Dumoine River. Watch our website for our spring call to artists for a chance to join the 2022 retreat this coming summer.

One highlight of 2021 in Saskatchewan was the inaugural “Boreal Bio-logue” event, held in Prince Albert. At this event, we hosted a group of community members for a discussion about the differences between an old-growth boreal forest and a very new growth forest where a fire had gone through earlier that year. We look forward to hosting this event and growing it again this year. Follow us on social media to learn more about events like this, open to everyone!

CPAWS Manitoba’s Nature Club is designed to help Manitobans get outside, make new friends, and learn about the wonders of nature. We’ve developed a wide range of activities and programming to help Manitobans of all ages and abilities to enjoy the health and wellness benefits of nature. Some of our activities include guided hikes, Turfhunt treasure hunts, drop-in workshops, and weekly webinars on a variety of topics from birding for beginners to the Narcisse snake dens. Watch our website and social media to see upcoming events!

Photo Credit: Avery Kash