Life in the Green Lane

Environmental journalist Candice Batista shares video clips and eco-savvy advice from her TV show, A Greener Toronto.

We live in an age where being in nature is becoming a thing of the past. We as a global community are very detached from the natural world and as a result most of us recognize corporate logos before species of birds. There is hope though. Do your kids enjoy the outdoors? Is painting, writing, or photography a favourite activity? If you said yes, then get your kids to join world-renowned wildlife artist and naturalist Robert Bateman to celebrate nature through the arts with Bateman’s “Get to Know” Contest for youth (age 19 and under). The Contest, now in its tenth year, will accept art, writing, and photography entries from April 22nd to May 27th. Robert Bateman launched this unique, all-Canadian contest in 2000 to address the critical problem of our collective alienation from nature. Based on Bateman’s philosophy that “caring for the planet begins with getting to know our neighbours of other species”, the contest is focused on inspiring youth to go outdoors and “get to know” their wild neighbours. The focus of this year’s contest is biodiversity and the celebration of Earth’s beautiful, diverse assembly of life. The United Nations has designated 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity, and winning entries from the contest will be published in the 2010 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest Calendar; in addition to many other prizes available to winners, including the opportunity the be featured on Wildlife Habitat Canada’s inaugural Canadian Youth Habitat Conservation Stamp, a trip to the Parks Canada Palisades Stewardship Education Centre in Jasper, Opus art supplies, Panasonic digital cameras, and much more. In an effort to promote further education and conservation, the Get to Know Program is working hard to fight indifference and emphasize the importance of “getting to know your neighbours of other species.” Our planet is home to a dizzying array of wonderful, mysterious life forms. Youth who participate in this contest will discover a sense of connection between themselves and the natural world. Additional information, entry forms, background on the program, and other details can be found at . This year, the Get to Know Program, in partnership with museums, zoos, and aquariums across the country, will be celebrating ten years of promoting wildlife, artwork, and writing. I encourage you to join in and exploring these incredible Canadian institutions – see for institutions names, locations, and event dates. I’d enter if I could... I just turned 20, so I’m out…kidding of course. (20 again, only in my dreams!) Eco Candy.