Robert Bateman Launches Environmental Awareness Program

    VANCOUVER, March 1 /CNW/ - Canada's foremost wildlife artist, Robert
Bateman, will launch the annual Get to Know Contest today, at public zoos and
aquaria across Canada. The Get to Know Writing and Art Contest is part of
Bateman's legacy to engage students in nature and raise a generation of
Canadians who will passionately care for the environment.
    The problem, as Bateman describes it, is that we live in a society where
youth recognize 1,200 corporate logos and fewer than 12 species of wildlife in
their communities. The health of the planet depends on protecting its
biodiversity. Bateman believes that the first step towards instilling in young
Canadians a desire to protect biodiversity is to introduce them to their
neighbours of other species.
    The Robert Bateman Get to Know Program is all about encouraging young
Canadians to spend more time outdoors. This is particularly important as
children continue to abandon outdoor experiences for those they can
participate in from within the home. This detachment from nature, and
resulting sedentary lifestyle, are having a negative effect on the development
of children.
    Richard Louv, celebrated author of Last Child in the Woods, best summed
up the result of the disconnect that youth have from the environment, "... but
the real disorder lies in the society that has disengaged children from nature
and imposed on them an artificial environment for which they have not evolved.
Viewed from this angle, children and adults alike would suffer from what might
be called nature deficit disorder, not in a clinical sense, but as a condition
caused by the cumulative human costs of alienation from nature, including
diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of
physical and emotional illnesses."
    "We're thrilled to be a part of this initiative," said Colin Maxwell,
Executive Vice President of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the contest
premier partner. "Reaching young Canadians with a conservation message is a
top priority for CWF," he said. "The sooner children adopt a caring attitude
about wildlife and nature the more likely they will make positive decisions
about the environment in the future. The Bateman Get to Know contest is a
great way to get started."
    Contest launch events for students will be held across Canada on March 1
featuring themes such as sustainability, local wildlife, climate change and
other related green topics. Students will be encouraged to take what they've
learned at the event and create their own art or writing entry.


    Vancouver, British Columbia Vancouver Aquarium
    Kelowna, British Columbia Shaw Studio
    Edmonton, Alberta Royal Alberta Museum
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Saskatoon Zoo
    Winnipeg, Manitoba Assiniboine Park Zoo
    Woodbridge, Ontario Kortright Centre for Conservation
    Moncton, New Brunswick Magnetic Hill Zoo
    Saint John, New Brunswick New Brunswick Museum
    St. John's, Newfoundland Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador

    In addition to the launch of the Contest on March 1, Robert Bateman will
also be announcing the launch of his interactive CD, which will be distributed
at no charge to all public schools in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver
this fall. Bateman's Get to Know CD will introduce students to animals and
plants in their communities and play an important role in connecting youth
with nature.
    For full Contest details, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Paradis, Tel: (877) 599-5777 ext. 1,
Email:, Website:

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