Tag Archives: community

This exciting new program brings the values of Nature and Forest school to younger kids and families, right in east Vancouver.  In this small, consistent group we will explore outside together through a combination of child-led play and facilitated activities.

Join us as we develop our sense of
place and belonging through sense-appreciation, connection, and play.


Still Life by Misha


AGE: 1.5 to 2.5 years
DAY & TIME: Mondays from 10am to 11:30am
DATES: Oct 17, 24, 31, Nov 7, 21, 28 (Rain or Shine, but will be cancelled due to Environment Canada Weather Warning*)
WHERE: Cottonwood Community Garden in Strathcona Park, Malkin Ave.
COST: Sliding scale $0 – $120, recommended fee $60.


Class size limited to 7 toddlers.  Parent/caregiver participation is essential.  It may be possible to include older siblings, please talk to facilitator.

Parent philosophy is based on following your child’s curiosity, plus developing your own nature sensory awareness so that you can help highlight what is happening in the moment.  We will all learn together.

Facilitated by mom Sara Ross, with Misha (1.5 years).  Sara is a former lead instructor with Soaring Eagle Nature School.  She loves to share her passion for birds, sensory engagement, and being outside with kids of all ages.


Some of the myriad things we may get up to:
Pouring, Piling, Wondering
Looking: observing and discerning recognizable patterns.
Running, Smashing, Jumping,
Relational skills, A bit of circle discipline,
Singing, Sitting, Silliness, etcetera!


To Register (or with Questions) please email

PLEASE Include the following information:

  1. your child’s name
  2. your child’s date of birth
  3. any known allergies your child has
  4. your name
  5. any known allergies you have
  6. your cell phone number
  7. how and how much you would like to pay (e-transfer, check, cash) NOTE please do not send payment until you receive confirmation that there is still space in the program.
  8. Confirm acceptance of Liability: you will be asked to sign a waiver on the first day of program stating that you accept full responsibility for yourself and your child during this outdoor program.


*Cancellation. This program will run Rain or Shine.  We expect that one session may need to be cancelled due to an Environment Canada Weather Warning.  If more than one session must be cancelled we will add one session in December.

What to wear: please be sure to dress yourself and your child for outdoor activities.  This means a waterproof outer layer, waterproof footwear, warm socks, gloves hat scarf as needed.  Fleece and wool are recommended rather than cotton for our cool, damp local climate.

Please bring a snack. We will advise you if there are any food allergies to avoid.  In the spirit of nature connection please choose a snack with no disposable packaging if possible.

Timing. This is a short program so please do your best to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before start time to get dressed etc.  That said, it’s ok to be late if necessary.



for this friendly Bike Ride
on Saturday Feb 8, 2014
Meet at 4:30pm
Lakewood Drive at the Central Valley Greenway
(also known as North Great Northern Way).
Bring: snacks to share if you care to do so,
and maybe a hot thermos for yourself.
Remember warm clothes,
Bike Lights, and
Bring Kid-friends too.

See below for more information, and alternate start locations.

-article adapted from Renfrew Collingwood Community News, Jan 2013

So Many Crows, Where Do They Go?

The answer is to their roost on the banks of Still Creek, where Vancouver meets Burnaby. Join the Crow Roost Twilight Bike Ride on Saturday February 8th to find out more, and to experience the famous crow roost for yourself.

“Being at the roost is a completely energizing and incredible experience”, says ride leader Sara Ross. “Last time I was there I could not believe how the birds just kept coming and coming and coming. It was as if the air above still creek became an ever-flowing river of crows, all arriving home for the night. It’s such a crow community celebration, I love it.”

Local experts estimate the number of crows spending the night at the Still Creek Roost to be upwards of 20,000 birds. Despite being pushed into ever-smaller pieces of viable roost habitat by development, crows seem to have adapted to their small piece of Still Creek near Gilmore. They return night after night and come from absolutely all over the lower mainland.

Still Creek runs from its’ headwaters near Slocan Park into Burnaby before flowing into the Fraser River. Decades of efforts to repair the once severely polluted Still Creek have been paying off, this year seeing the first sizable return of Chum Salmon.

Crows, unlike Salmon, easily thrive in the urban conditions we’ve created, favoring flat open areas similar to shoreline, which would have been their native habitat. That translates into crows loving parks, parking lots, lawns, rooftops. Crows are very smart and adaptable. They also have complex family groupings, and the adolescent birds help their parents raise the next generation of young. There is lots of cooperation.

Ross, a local artist, bird-lover, and bicycle organizer, will be leading the FREE family- friendly bicycle ride on Saturday, February 8th to visit the crow roost.

Travelling like a murder of crows, perhaps with some friendly chatting and squawking along the way, the Crow Roost Twilight Bike Ride will follow the path of Still Creek eastward. The route is 98% on separated bike routes along the Central Valley Greenway.

Ross says, “You can expect to be amazed by the experience of flying on your bike with the crows towards the roost, and then we’ll quiet down as we arrive. Maybe the crows will recognize us as fellow quiet flyers on our bikes?”

This ride is part of Still Creek Stories, a larger program created by Still Moon Arts that aims to connect people with the creek, and with our local environment by spending time near, and enjoying Still Creek. Learn more at

More Crow Info
Burnaby Now Article LINK
Vancouver Province Article LINK

Ride Details: Saturday, Feb 8, 2014
~rain or shine~

Choose your start location

LONGER RIDE (4km one way distance): Meet at 4:30pm at Lakewood Drive at the Central Valley Greenway (also known as North Great Northern Way)
SHORTER RIDE (2.5km one way distance): Meet at 4:45pm outside of Renfrew Skytrain Station
Note that bikes are allowed on Skytrain for your return journey if desired. All riders and abilities are welcome on this ride.
Assistance is available for people with unique mobility needs who wish to join the ride through tandems, chariots or loaner bikes. Please inquire in advance of Ride Leader Sara Ross at
Don’t forget to bring very very warm clothing including gloves, and lights for your bike for the return journey. And if possible bring a few home-made snacks to share, and a thermos of something warm to drink for yourself?

The story of ELEMENTAL is complex and wonderful
& involves great learning for me!

WHAT IS ELEMENTAL? Through the ELEMENTAL initiative,
the Vancouver Society of Storytelling worked with 5 different communities in Vancouver from March 2011-June 2012. In workshops, each community created stories using different elements as their central metaphor (air, earth, water, fire, metal). Physical legacies and community celebrations followed. On Saturday June 9th, 2012 a bicycle/bus tour showcased ELEMENTAL as part of the 19th Vancouver International Storytelling Festival.

I was excited, proud and honoured to work alongside Naomi Steinberg, friend and community builder, storyteller and artist extraordinaire.
Naomi is an elemental force for good in Vancouver!

My task was two-part.
1. to organize a bike ride to showcase the ELEMENTAL project.
2. to create a zine / artbook documenting the project.

Read More