Connecting Manitobans to Nature

Outdoor Education Program

Reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health, well-being, spirit, and survival.” ― Richard Louv

Welcome to the CPAWS Manitoba Outdoor Education Program

The CPAWS Manitoba Outdoor Education Program gets kids (and adults!) outside and teaches them to appreciate the wonders of nature through games, activities and community building.

It aligns with our mission to connect people to nature by teaching Manitobans about the value and beauty of our province and its wildlife.   

Outdoor education is fundamental in establishing a long-lasting connection to nature. Researchers, educators and parents alike agree that when people of any age spend time outdoors, there are immense physical, mental, social, and environmental benefits. 

This flexible program was designed to be delivered by educators, by parents or by CPAWS staff and volunteers in order to accommodate pandemic-related restrictions on social gatherings. It evolved into a program that can continue to serve communities in Manitoba for years to come.

We've helped connnect more than 13,000 children and students to nature through over 750 outdoor education workshops and activities at schools and daycares across Manitoba since May 2021.
We look forward to helping many more children connect to nature in the years to come.


Outdoor Education Program Brochure

Program Goals

  • Increase access to outdoor learning by providing educators, parents and the general public with accessible, free resources.
  • Support efforts to shift learning outdoors through school outings,  interpretive programming, webinars and an online community
  • Expand knowledge of Manitoba's wildlife, natural environment and key topics in conservation by developing lesson plans tied to the Manitoba curriculum and a speaker series aimed at the general public.

What We Do

How to Use This Learning Hub

In this online portal, you’ll find both outdoor education and boreal forest resources. This includes reading materials, videos, applied science and technology, lesson plans, student takeaways, and more.

Check out our event listings for drop-in classes at Assiniboine Park, free webinars and other outdoor learning opportunities.

Book a workshop or field trip for your school, daycare, or summer camp.

Be sure to subscribe to our events newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so you don’t miss out on upcoming events. 

You can register on Eventbrite and catch up on past webinars on Vimeo.

CPAWS Outdoor Education

Learn With Us

Filling an Urgent Need for Outdoor Education

The CPAWS Manitoba Outdoor Education Program was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,  which created an urgent need to support educators and parents seeking safe ways to engage children and  youth. 

Teachers told us they were struggling to find ways to adapt to the new reality and needed support delivering programming. Parents said they were looking for new ways to engage their children outside. Manitobans of all ages were suffering from the isolation of social distancing and were seeking ways to connect to people safely outdoors.

We expanded our efforts to connect Manitoba to nature by launching the Outdoor Education Program in August 2020.

The purpose of the program is to connect people to nature by teaching Manitobans about the value and beauty of our province and its wildlife.

An epidemic of excessive screen time is harming youth already struggling to recover from the emotional, economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are troubling stats from ParticipACTION’s 2022 report card:

  • The percentage of youth (12-17) who were physically active for at least 60 minutes a day dropped from 51% in the fall of 2018 to 37% in the fall of 2020. 
  • Children (5-11) fared even worse: just 23.8 percent were active for at least 60 minutes a day in April 2020.That fell to 17.5 percent by October 2020.
  • Only 3 percent of youth (12-17) limited their screen time to no more than two hours a day. Just 16.5 percent of children (5-11) were on screens for less than two hours a day.  

This is not a problem that is going away as pandemic restrictions ease. Just 7 percent of Canadians spend two hours or more outside in a typical week, according to the 2017 Coleman Canada Outdoor Report.

This lack of time outside has been dubbed Nature Deficit Disorder, which contributes to a host of physical and emotional ill effects including poor concentration, anxiety, and obesity. Research also suggests that the nature-deficit weakens ecological literacy and environmental stewardship.

When children are exposed to nature, even in simple ways or in small increments, intrigue and interest soon follow.


Why You Should Learn About

Our Boreal Forests

Access to identity, community and culture. Hikes through the shade of pine trees. Long afternoons on the dock at the cottage. The boreal forest lies in the background of what we love so much about our province. The health of boreal forest impacts us all.

Learn More


This programming was made possible thanks to the generous support of: The Province of Manitoba’s Building Sustainable Communities Program; The Conservation Trust, a Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Initiative delivered by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation; Eco Canada; The Winnipeg Foundation; TD Friends of the Environment Foundation; Telus Friendly Future Foundation. 

conservation trust logo