Empowering people to get outside, no matter the weather.

We offer nature connection programs for people of all ages and experience levels in Toronto and the surrounding area. Our programs take place outside – rain or shine – in all seasons.

All of our programs are founded upon the principles of experiential learning, igniting curiosity and care for the natural world. With the guidance of experienced and passionate mentors, participants cultivate a deep and personal relationship with nature that is difficult to achieve within more conventional learning environments.

Our curriculum teaches concepts and principles of ecology as well as practical skills for survival and resilience. Core elements of our curriculum include:

  • Naturalist knowledge
    • Wildlife observation: getting to know the animals who share our environment and how they live
    • Birds and bird language: learning about different species of birds, how they communicate, and what we can learn from them about our surroundings
    • Plants and trees: learning how to identify plants and trees, and how we can use them (medicinal, edible, and practical uses)
  • Wilderness skill development
    • Hazards and risk management: learning to identify and assess things that could be harmful in our environment, and navigate them safely
    • Survival skills: drawing on nature to meet our basic needs – fire, water, shelter, food. We practice skills like fire-building, carving, shelter-building, and navigation.

Our innovative mentoring approach empowers participants to direct their own learning experience by personally engaging with nature. Our knowledgeable instructors strategically draw on the natural surroundings to cultivate experiential learning opportunities that foster curiosity and critical-thinking. By providing a safe environment for participants to interact directly with nature, take measured risks, and experience natural consequences, our programs are designed to promote holistic development and a deep connection to the natural world.

Some of the key methods used by our instructors include:

  • Place-based: Fostering a sense of place by directly interacting with local heritage, cultures and landscapes.
  • Experiential learning: Learning through direct experience, hands-on skill development and crafting, and personal reflection
  • Inquiry-based: Encouraging participants to pose questions and actively seek their own answers
  • Play-based: Incorporation of self-directed and facilitated learning through play, including natural loose parts
  • Cross-curricular learning: Conscious design and integration of multiple subjects

In practice, how participants experience this approach and methodology is through fun, passion-driven practices! Some of which include:

  • Wanders through nature
  • Singing and storytelling
  • Nature journaling
  • Games
  • Sharing gratitude as a group
  • Sitting quietly in nature to listen, observe and learn

Our programs promote the development of global competencies that contribute to academic achievement and general well-being. Learning outcomes of our programs include important measurable skills – such as scientific identification of flora and fauna – as well as a range of more personal transformational outcomes, including:

  • Confidence, independence and resilience
  • Improved academic outcomes thanks to improved focus, attention, creativity, critical thinking, and enthusiasm for learning
  • Mental health benefits, including reduced anxiety and stress
  • Physical benefits like improved fitness, agility and reduced risk of obesity
  • Environmental ethic, including a sense of wonder and interest in protecting the natural world

Pine is the kind of formative experience based outdoor learning that breeds a fundamental sense of connection and appreciation for our land, and resilience of character.

— Parent of a Pine Participant