Expanding Access to Outdoor Education

Environmental Action Challenge

Join us for the CPAWS Manitoba Environmental Action Challenge.

Encourage students to view the natural world with curiosity to engage in meaningful environmental action with the CPAWS Manitoba Environmental Action Challenge.

We’ve developed a flexible lesson plan and workbooks that will guide students through a three stage process of discovery, analysis and action.

And we’ve got a great motivator: a chance to win a classroom doughnut party from Oh Doughnuts. 

“Educators have been asking me for tools they can use to get students outside engaging with the local environment in a meaningful way but also encourages student-led environmental action,” said Environmental Educator Carly Gray.

“Educators can guide their students through the challenge in a few hours. Or they can use it as a framework for a weeks-long class project.”

The challenge begins by getting students outside to observe natural phenomena in their school yard, a nearby park or a natural area. 

Students are then encouraged think about what they’ve seen, why it matters and the connections between animals, plants, wind, water and sunlight.  

Students then reflect on the impacts that humans have on the environment and choose action they want to take to be mindful of the environment. They are encouraged to track their progress in the workbook and share their success with classmates, family and friends. 

The lesson plan is tied to curriculum outcomes for grades K-12 in science, social studies, and phys ed, but the program will be a great activity for younger children as well. 

The activities are easily adaptable to meet the needs of individual students. The early years workbook can also be used for students with limited English language reading skills. The middle years workbook can be expanded to allow for more complex reflections from older students. 

Educators are welcome to use their own inquiry-based strategies and tools. The only requirements to participate in the challenge is that students spend time outside and that they develop an environmental action plan.

The challenge aims to support educators and students in making meaningful connections to nature through inquiry-based and place-based approaches to learning. 

Inquiry-based learning works to facilitate deep, meaningful learning that is driven by curiosity and wonder. This challenge intentionally leaves room for educators to incorporate their teaching methods while providing a loose framework to support the process.  

Instilling a strong connection with the natural world and fostering a sense of responsibility helps children become future advocates for conservation efforts. This challenge promotes unique thinking and innovation and encourages environmentally responsible behaviors through positive reinforcement.

By staging the environmental inquiry process through an Indigenous Lens as outlined by Natural Curiousity 2nd Edition, students have the opportunity to explore meaningful stewardship and experience the interconnectivity of nature. 


Who Can Participate and Deadlines for Doughnuts!

This challenge is open to schools, daycares, and school-aged groups (such as sports team and youth groups) across Manitoba. 

Get your students outdoors completing Phase 1 of the challenge before spring break to be entered in an early bird draw 

For  a bonus entry, post about the great work your students did on social media with the hashtag #CPAWSactionchallenge, and tag or mention CPAWS Manitoba in your post. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Donuts will be delivered - along with our thanks for your hard work - to four randomly drawn classrooms or groups in time for parties ahead of the summer school breaks.

We have two draws for prize packages: the deadline for the early bird prize is March 29, 2024,  the deadline for the spring prize is May 31. The fall deadline will be on Nov, 30. 

We will draw one winner for the early bird prize and three winners after the challenge closes on May 31, 2024.

How to Participate:

  1. Download the lesson plan and workbook.
  2. Submit photos of your students outdoors engaging with natural phenomena to the form below.  (Phase 1)
  3. Make connections, what impacts do humans have on the environment. (Phase 2)
  4. Take action, make an action plan and encourage environmentally responsible behaviours (Phase 3)
  5. Submit photos of students outdoors and where the inquiry process has taken you on this entry form, by May 31, 2024.

Rules and Regulations:

 1. Click here for the challenge rules and regulations.



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
winnipeg foundation logo