Everyone needs a bit of Wild

Connecting with nature should be for everyone, regardless of their circumstances. However, factors such as low income, urbanization and disability limit people’s access to the natural environment. That’s why A Rocha Canada launched Operation Wild – building inclusive communities for people with barriers or disabilities to explore the beauty of the world around us and cultivate love and care for it, and each other.

Operation Wild brings small groups of people into Cedar Haven Eco-Centre (near Hamilton, Ontario) to experience nature up close. The programme is customized according to each group’s ability and interests, and offers activities like guided nature walks, seasonal workshops, birdwatching and collecting data on animals and plants. The Ontario Trillium Foundation covers all programme and travel costs to allow access for people who would otherwise not have access.

Marcelo (pictured) was one of the many people who long to experience creation but face physical barriers to getting out into nature. But these barriers aren’t insurmountable.

‘My knowledge of birds! Ah! Before, I knew sparrows, robins — and we all know seagulls! But that’s it. That was the extent of my knowledge of birds. But to be able to go out into the wild and for people to tell you, “That’s this type of bird” — it invigorates the mind. You probably see those birds all the time, but you had no clue.’

For more information, please see operationwild.ca

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