Returning to Social Responsibility this year, I am super excited to create my own action based project! After looking at all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, I found 2 main ones that I am really passionate about: “Life on land” and “Gender Equality.” Taking these 2 goals, I have created an action that will address both of these.
My action will consist of me leading nature walks/exploration camps in Mundy Park!
I will be implementing concepts that will focus on the “Life on Land” goal within these trips by spreading awareness about the importance of preserving our land, protecting it from environmental threats, and most importantly, appreciating the land we live on, and acknowledging the history that comes with it.
Within these walks, I not only want to advocate for the land itself, I also want to give students at our school, and even people in our community a reason to explore nature and appreciate our local parks. It is a known fact that walking through nature is a great way to calm down and relieve stress — it sure is for me! Many of us tend to forget the easy access we have to parks and wildlife in our community. Being surrounded by tall trees and plants can let anybody escape the fast paced setting of the city, and find the peace and quiet needed to reflect and relax. In all, I am leaving the nature walks very open ended, because I want the people involved to have the freedom to explore, observe and wonder!
In addition to the main nature walks I will be leading, I will also be organizing a few separate trips into Mundy Park that will be a little more focussed on the science related themes and topics that can be found throughout the park. For example, pond studies looking at the water found in Mundy Lake, observing/identifying certain plants and trees, and analyzing the things happening in nature that are not caused by human actions. These separate trips will be geared towards my focus on the “Gender Equality” goal. Quite specifically, I would like to raise awareness for the importance of women in science and being equally represented among men. At many universities, the faculty of science tends to have much more male professors compared to females. A lot of women tend to go into undergraduate science programs, but we don’t see as many coming out of them. It’s important to realize that women think, analyze and process information in completely different ways in comparison to men. This is why I think it is so important that women become more involved, because they can contribute different ideas and perspectives. Although I am working towards advocating for female representation within the sciences, these more “hands on” Mundy Park explorations will be open to anyone interested! Hopefully I will get some boys and girls interested in these trips because it is important for the boys to see how the girls will interact with the activities and address the topics we will discuss.
So you might be wondering what pushed me to pursue these actions….
For the past couple years, my family has taken spring break vacations to Palm Springs. During these vacations we venture out and explore new places each time. Three years ago, my family visited Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP) located in the Mojave Desert, and I actually re-visited the park just last year too! It was here that I became fascinated with learning about the biodiversity of different places. After coming back from my trip and getting the chance to learn more about JTNP through Butterfly Effect, I developed a passion for science. I created this action as a way to integrate my love for nature and looking at different environments into raising awareness for some key issues regarding land preservation and women in science!
In order to prepare myself for leading these trips into Mundy Park, Ms. Stuart gave me the amazing idea of gaining some expertise and knowledge from Mr. Cowie, an Aboriginal Education and Resource Teacher who works within School District 43! In fact, I have already set up a time to meet with Mr. Cowie today! He is going to be taking me into Mundy Park and helping me learn/observe in a new perspective! I will go into more detail about the information I learned in my next post!
In addition to the knowledge I will gain with Mr. Cowie’s help, Ms. Stuart has also offered to take me into Mundy Park sometime to have a closer look at some of the things I can incorporate into my more science focussed explorations!
As you can see, gaining my own personal knowledge will be the first big step in reaching these goals. Before I can help lead and teach others, I first need to learn for myself and become knowledgeable in the topics and ideas I want to discuss.
Here is a rough step by step outline of my plan to accomplish my action and reach my goals:
1. Gain knowledge and expertise from adults (Mr. Cowie, Ms. Stuart) to gain a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the activities I want to lead.
2. Inform others when the nature walks are taking place.
- Find people interested!!
- Spread the news to people in the school and the community.
- Perhaps make a social media account on Instagram or Facebook to get more people interested.
3. Start planning the activities in more detail
- Set up dates (try to have the walks on days when the most people are available)
- Create the activities and focusses for the science geared walks
- Plan what each walk will cover
- What I want to pay close attention to
- Gather supplies and materials I may need for these activities
- This section may take more time to organize
4. Possibly come up with some better names for my initiatives/action… Maybe it’s just me, but “science geared nature walks” could sound a lot better!
- If you have any ideas comment down below!!
5. Run the activities!
- I am not quite sure yet how many nature walks or science walks I will be holding
- I want to leave this open for now, because I want to include the people who join in some of the planning as well
- For example, if people are really enjoying them I might do more walks
6. Observe, reflect, consider
- At the end of this action I will take the time to look back at the process, see the way I grew throughout this experience, and reflect on the impact I saw, or the things I observed throughout everything
- How has it affected the people involved?
- How has it changed their views/perspectives/interests/ideas/goals etc.
In all, this is a very basic outline and action project plan. Throughout the project, I will be posting in depth “journal entries” or updates as to what I’m working on and planning in order to achieve everything I’ve laid out!
Thank you for reading! If you have any ideas, comments, suggestions, connections — anything really, I’d love to hear it! Comment down below!!
Stay tuned for my next post!