Introduction to Urban Nature: Designing Accessible Programs for the City

This is a pre-recorded introduction to designing programs with communities in urban places that's been taken from a 1.5 hour online interactive workshop. It includes access to some of the resources referenced during the workshop.
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Join Seth Kipavare (Ottawa local with experience as an outdoor playworker) and Caylin Gans (Nature-educator and creator of Forest Schooled) for a recording of an interactive workshop on how we can work to break down barriers people face in accessing nature in urban spaces. 


Working in urban settings brings a unique set of challenges when it comes to creating and delivering outdoor programs. Lack of access to “Nature” in cities is often cited as a barrier, and we know that access is about more than just proximity to natural physical spaces. Inability to spend time with the outdoors is also a result of deep-rooted racism in which those who are non-white often experience overt discrimination which threatens physical and emotional safety. This requires us to make thoughtful considerations for how we design programs in urban spaces with diverse communities.

Seth and Caylin share what they’ve learned about developing programs that bring opportunities for outdoor play for children and families to the grass patches and rain puddles of urban neighbourhoods and how we can help create more accessible and inclusive opportunities for outdoor play and learning.
In the workshop, we touch upon the following topics:
  • Working together with your community to design relevant programs
  • Considerations for working in publicly accessible sites
  • Reframing our ideas of what “Nature” looks and feels like in the city
  • Helping communities feel welcome and comfortable in green spaces
  • Restoring and enhancing spaces to inspire play

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What people are saying...

"Thank you so much for this presentation. It's been so inspiring and educational."
Workshop Participant
"Thank you both for your work and for sharing your experiences."
Workshop Participant
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