Exploring how outdoor play and a relationship with nature can support children’s (and our inner child’s) innate curiosity.

Marlene is an avid outdoors-person, social activist, environmentalist, and an advocate of children’s right to play in the outdoors. This talk explores how outdoor play and a relationship with nature can support children’s (and our inner child’s) innate curiosity, and about the conditions and routines that bring out a sense of wonder in our lives on a regular basis.

About the speaker

“Building a relationship with love for (and curiosity about) the natural world, one muddy boot at a time.”

Marlene Power is the Executive Director of the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada (CNAC). This talk will explore how outdoor play, and a relationship with nature, can support children’s (and our inner child’s) innate curiosity, and about the conditions and routines that bring out a sense of wonder in our lives on a regular basis.

Marlene is an avid outdoors-person, social activist, environmentalist, and an advocate of children’s right to play in the outdoors. She attributes her resilience, creativity, love of nature, and environmental values to the freedom she was given to roam in outport Newfoundland during her childhood, and the relationships she made while there.

In 2008, Marlene Power founded Carp Ridge Forest Preschool, Canada’s first full time outdoor, nature-based Forest Preschool. She created Forest School Canada, a national initiative to promote nature-based education, and founded the Ottawa Forest and Nature School, which is situated on 900 acres of unceded Algonquin Territory.

In 2014 she was appointed as Executive Director for the CNAC. Over the last four years she has led CNAC through a purpose-driven capacity-building process, and today she leads a national team of 35 employees from coast to coast to coast.

To date, CNAC has worked with over 1,500 educators nationally, and there are now over 400 Forest and Nature School programs who spend an average of 250 hours outside a year.

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