Canadian Wildlife Federation and Robert Bateman Join Forces to Get Kids Outside

OTTAWA, April 7 /CNW/ - Renowned Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman is joining forces with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Parks Canada and Wildlife Habitat Canada to encourage youth to connect with nature through the 2011 Canadian Wildlife Federation Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest.

The annual contest, now in its twelfth year, invites youth to get outside and "get to know" their wild neighbours and to share their experiences through art, photography, video, or writing. Youth can submit their entries at Get to Know Contest launch events will take place at twenty-four sites across Canada during National Wildlife Week, April 10 to 16.

Several events will also join in CWF's second annual Walk for Wildlife. Walk for Wildlife is a national campaign that encourages people across Canada to experience the wildlife and natural spaces that surround them, then log their kilometres at "The Walk for Wildlife and Get to Know Contest complement each other beautifully," says Wade Luzny, CWF CEO and Executive Vice-President. Robert Bateman agrees, stating, "I cannot imagine a better way to launch the 2011 Get to Know Contest than with a Walk for Wildlife."

The theme of the 2011 CWF Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest is "This is My Forest," in celebration of the United Nations' International Year of Forests. The prizes available for youth include: having their artwork featured in CWF's WILD Magazine, the 2012 CWF Robert Bateman Get to Know Calendar, or the Wildlife Habitat Canada 2012 Youth Conservation Stamp; attending the week-long Art & Nature Camp in Victoria, BC hosted by Parks Canada at Fort Rodd National Historic Site and Gulf Islands National Park Reserve; art packs, cameras, books; and more.

The Get to Know Contest and Walk for Wildlife are motivated by Robert Bateman's and CWF's passion for firsthand nature experience and a growing body of research showing that "children are smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have regular opportunities to be in the out-of-doors."1 Bateman and CWF are joined by other environmental leaders, including Margaret Atwood and "Survivorman" Les Stroud, in encouraging youth to connect with nature through the contest. "By taking part in the Get to Know Contest, youth learn to connect with nature and spend time out of doors. I am thrilled to be a part of the Get to Know team," says Stroud.

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. 

About the Robert Bateman Get to Know Program

In the past decade, the Robert Bateman Get to Know Program has connected hundreds of thousands of young people with nature by encouraging them to "get to know" their wild neighbours. The program provides youth with direct, hands-on learning opportunities through cutting-edge educational initiatives based on current research and developed in conjunction with leading educators. The Get to Know Program envisions a continent-wide shift in thinking, towards an understanding that conserving biodiversity is our shared responsibility. By encouraging young people to regard other species as important members of their community, we are working to restore the link between youth and the environment, and foster the next generation of passionate environmental stewards. Recent Get to Know initiatives include Virtual Hikes - interactive learning resources which introduce youth to local green spaces; Natural Treasure, a program which draws youth outside to local parks in search of hidden hieroglyphs; and the Get to Know BioBlitz. For more information visit Promotional Kit, including videos and posters, available at

About Parks Canada

In 2011, Parks Canada celebrates the centennial of its establishment as the Dominion Parks Service, the first federal agency in the world managing national parks and is today a recognized leader in the conservation and preservation of natural and cultural heritage. Parks Canada works to ensure Canada's historic and natural heritage is protected and, through a network of 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, and four national marine conservation areas, invites Canadians and people around the world to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery at our treasured natural and historic places.

About Wildlife Habitat Canada

Wildlife Habitat Canada is a national, non-profit, charitable conservation organization established in 1984. We work through partnerships with communities, landowners, governments, non-government organizations, and industry to find effective solutions to address problems facing wildlife habitat.

Our objectives are to promote the conservation, restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitat in order to retain the diversity, distribution and abundance of wildlife; provide a funding mechanism for wildlife habitat conservation programs in Canada; and to foster coordination and leadership in the conservation community across Canada.


1 Burdette, Hillary L., M.D., M.S.; and Robert C. Whitaker, M.D, M.P.H. "Resurrecting Free Play in Young Children: Looking Beyond Fitness and Fatness to Attention, Affiliation and Affect." © 2005 American Medical Association.


For further information:

Media Contacts 
Get to Know Program
Mary Krupa-Clark
(250) 980-3969

Canadian Wildlife Federation
Natalie Gillis
Communications Officer
(613) 599-9594 ext. 219


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