We are a social enterprise committed to providing opportunities to cultivate ecological consciousness in people of all abilities.
In plain english - that means we want to create tangible ways to help people get their hands (and feet and sometimes whole bodies) in the dirt! We believe that when we personally connect with the natural environment we can begin to develop a deepened sense of place and that leads to a stronger community of people that care about our earth and each other.
I'm a mother of a boy name Max and a girl name Ella. I listen to their stories, I watch them play, discover and make connections with their natural surroundings and learn from nature's resilience, generosity and creativity.
My past informs my present. I discover how with the power of one ( or two in this case!) I can make a difference in my corner of the world. How kindness and generosity can be paid forward. How as a community we can create forward momentum when we practice acceptance and inclusion, when we celebrate the individual and empower our children.
I have a small scar under my right eye (it looks like three little dots). It represents my journey to Common Digs, as it has been a bit like connecting the dots. Growing up on an acreage, I was given the privilege and freedom to explore and play in the natural surroundings for endless hours every day. Now, I have a very deep connection to nature. (see the dots connecting?) I didn’t always see it though, having spent 10 years in the corporate world. Having had children now and met the challenge of one of them having a disability I have come to feel pretty strongly about the power and necessity of getting people outside for them and for our world (my dots connecting like in a mandelbrot). So much so that now I am a MEd candidate specializing in Early Childhood Education and Ecological Consciousness and soon I will be one of the first Canadian-trained Forest School Practitioners. (More dots connected.) It seems meaningful work was always just outside my back door.
I first started appreciating the Prairie landscape a few years ago. Prior to my awakening, I saw the Prairies as dull, brown and plain. It wasn’t until one run where I found myself, seeing silvers, purples, reds and pinks, in amongst the brown that I fell in love with the landscape I call home. My wish is that people, of all ages and abilities have an awakening like mine. Where they come to love, cherish and appreciate the land around them ~ Tara, B.Ed.
Sayward Wilkinson Blanc, Calgary Nature Kindergarten's lead educator, is an Alberta certified teacher who has been teaching for 10 years, most of that time in the Kindergarten classroom. She is also an artist and has been following the Reggio Emilia philosophy for 14 years and is a founding member and past president of the Calgary Reggio Network Association. She believes strongly in the power of Reggio's tenant of the environment as the third teacher and of the power of children's learning through nature. For the past four summers, Sayward has studied in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia and we cannot wait for her to share with us all that she learned and all that she will bring to the classroom in September!