One of the features of the FNP is that sessions are held in the same area of woodland over a period of time, allowing participants to become comfortable in and knowledgeable about the area. Indeed, we believe that it is only through a deep connection to place that children grow up to be stewards of the land. Although this is very positive for learning, it can have an adverse environmental effect due to over-use of an area. We therefore strive to meet a delicate balance whereby we promote children’s connection to nature through exposure and meaningful experience, while at the same time fostering an ethic of care and sustainable use of the land we are connecting to. We minimize our ecological impact by rotating our sites for play, staying on trails as much as possible, and careful consideration of the location of activities with the highest impact.
Humber’s Forest and Nature Program, located within the Humber Arboretum, regards environmental sustainability as very important. We conduct ongoing ecological impact assessments of our presence in the forest, taking into account such factors as denudation/erosion, compaction, pollution, and the corruption/introduction of species. Monitoring, management and limitation of our potential negative impact and for the positive development and improvement of the ecology of our site is included in the long-term sustainability of the Arboretum.