Media/Photo Op Advisory - Robert Bateman Program inspires new generation of Canadian environmentalists

    - Youth connect to nature through national art and writing contest -

    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ -

    News Facts:

    -   As part of their fight to combat the growing number of school-age
        children who may be candidates for 'Nature Deficient Disorder', on
        March 3 Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is taking grade five
        students out of the classroom and into the natural environment, a
        move that will kick-off Robert Bateman's "Get to Know" Program at the
        Kortright Conservation Centre. Nature Deficient Disorder is a modern
        term describing the disconnect children have to their environment. It
        was first coined by author Richard Louv in his book "Last Child in
        the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder."
    -   Renowned Canadian artist and environmentalist Robert Bateman, created
        the "Get to Know" Program nearly a decade ago, when he found that
        children recognize 1,200 corporate logos yet knew only 12 species out
        of the hundreds of wildlife in their local communities. The nation-
        wide program consists of a writing and drawing contest and is
        designed to increase student awareness and understanding for
        wildlife, while encouraging them to spend more time outdoors.
    -   The "Get to Know" Program is open to children across Canada under the
        age of 19 and takes place from March 6 to April 22, 2008. Winners
        will be showcased in the 2009 contest calendar which will be
        distributed nationally through Loblaws and The Real Canadian
        Superstore. Winning submissions will also be published in the
        Canadian Wildlife Federation's WILD Magazine.

    Photo/Interview Opportunities:

    -   Seventy Grade 5 students from Yorkview Public School.
    -   Students learning about the local owl species from TRCA experts.
        Activities include: dissecting an owl pellet, walking to an owl
        habitat, learning some owl calls, and visiting the Canadian Peregrine
        Barn to see live owls and other birds of prey. Weather permitting;
        students will be given an opportunity to sketch other birds of prey.
    -   Teachers and students from Yorkview Public School, program sponsors
        including the Canadian Wildlife Federation and TD Friends of the
        Environment Foundation, and TRCA are available for comment.

    Date: March 3 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

    Location: Kortright Centre for Conservation: 9550 Pine Valley Drive,
    south of Major Mackenzie Drive, west of Highway 400, Woodbridge.

    12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Lunch
    12:30 - 12:50 p.m. Welcoming speeches, live owl presentation, contest
    information, Q & A
    1:00 - 2:00 p.m. "Get to Know" Program activities focusing on local owl
    species will take place.

    Approved Quotes:

    "The Get to Know Program inspires children to slowly and carefully look
at the world around them and see the wonders that nature has to offer," said
David Love, Executive Director of The Conservation Foundation of Greater
Toronto. "Urbanization, the attraction of the Internet and lack of funding for
youth-oriented nature programs increase the number of children who don't
appreciate their environment. And if they can't appreciate it; it's unlikely
they will look after it."


For further information:

For further information: For media information, contact: Brown & Cohen
Communications and Public Affairs Inc., (416) 484-1132, Rowena Calpito at ext.
4,; Wendy Kauffman at ext. 3,

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