Atlantic Chapter

Laine Brehaut's picture

Off on New Adventures!

Making art in Nature helps us find beauty and learn about our impacts

I'm so excited to start this adventure with the children of PEI!

There is magic in nature. As a small kid growing up in the PEI countryside I climbed trees, swam in streams, & watched the shadows of clouds race by on the hillsides in my valley. My earliest memories are of being fascinated by the tiny life all around me in overgrown meadows and the peace I felt sitting in the tall plants waving in the ever present summer breezes. I counted the tiny white moths, lady-bugs, and earthworms as my friends. I held countless little lives in my hands; toads, frogs, garter and northern redbelly snakes, and my all time favourite; spotted salamanders!

Wild Child Forest School Announces Fall Programing to Get Kids Active Outside

If you think today’s children’s are spending too much time indoors, you’re not alone.


In response to concerns that increasing numbers of today’s kids are more disconnected from the natural world than any previous generation, the launch of Halifax’s Wild Child Forest School comes as a fresh of breath air for families keen on getting their kids back outside and in a healthy setting. 


Following on from a successful pilot program in the spring, Wild Child Forest School has launched an ambitious program of ½ and full day sessions at 2 wooded locations within 20mins to downtown Halifax, beginning in September, giving kids an opportunity to discover and explore nature from this September


Feeding Birds, Signs of Spring, “Guess Who?”, and Farewell Visits

The last two weeks have concluded my scheduled visits for Wild Child (although I do have make-up visits scheduled for next week due to all the snow days!). These weeks have been really fun. I have noticed that the by my 3rd, 4th, and 5th visits that relationship with children really starts to become more evident. I remember many childrens names and we can recount experiences from my past visits. Children’s excitement levels seem to increase with each visit. I have also noticed increased comfortability in myself as I revisit each daycare. In terms of relationship building and material retainment, I am curious how a week long visit to each daycare would compare to the bi-weekly visit approach that I have taken. This may be something that the next season of Wild Child could consider trying.


Wild Child and the Community

The last two weeks has really shown me that there is a large amount of community interest and support to get children back into nature. Perhaps you saw the segment on CBC’s Compass with Boomer or made it out to the fundraiser for the Wild Child Program, or maybe you will pick up the Guardian this week and read about Wild Child in the paper.. regardless, the support for this program has been great and is very encouraging to those interested in getting nature programs into childcare and education systems. From news stories to fundraisers, I am getting the notion that people genuinely want children to reconnect with nature. What an inspiring message!


Wait, were these alive before?!

Two weeks of stormy, cold, snowy weather can put quite the damper on outdoor fun... so sometimes you have to bring “the wild” inside!


On the days where it is too cold for the little ones to venture out into the snow, there is a giant blue tub of animal items that I bring them. There is a little bit of everything in this tub, including: a beaver pelt, coyote skull, robin’s nest, porcupine quills, barred owl wing, and turtle shell (to name a few).


Film Screening & Discussion: “Project Wild Thing”

In Nova Scotia & PEI Film Screening & Discussion: “Project Wild Thing”






In Halifax March 4th Wednesday, March 11 snow date at the Museum of Natural History, 7-8:30 with partners the Young Naturalists Club of Nova Scotia & the Ecology Action Centre, for additional information feel free to contact Sally Trower at, and check out the  facebook event 


The Taste of a Tree!

I journey my way through Charlottetown, meeting some of the most interesting individuals with the most profound messages and ideas you could imagine encountering. What do I do? I play with kids in nature!!


Over the past month, children in Charlottetown and surrounding areas have had the opportunity to take part in an environmental education program that is designed to support children in exploring, experiencing, and playing in nature.


Meeting the Wild Children of PEI

A second Sierra Club Wild Child Nature Immersion Program is underway in PEI, only this time: it’s winter fun! 

It is truly an amazing experience to slow down and let our imaginations wonder. At one visit, the kids and I made up a game called “Chipmunks” all on our own while we were discussing animals that need trees to live. The game was a relay design where children had to run to a tree, grab a nut or pinecone (we used whatever we had on hand), then run back to their “hole” to store the nut for the winter and tag the next person in line. The first team to go to the tree and back twice “won” the round. As the weeks unravel, I become more amazed at the creative minds of the children I meet. My visits are a valuable reminder of why play and imagination are key to healthy, engaged living. 

Family Earth Expo - Charlottetown - Sat. April 25, 2015

2015 Charlottetown Family Earth Expo, Saturday, April 25th from 12:30 - 4 PM at The PEI Farm Centre
... all-ages event with information booths, music, food, activities, and workshops on environmental action and awareness. (Earth Day itself is Apr 22)
Facebook event page

Big thank you to the performers, auction donors, volunteers and all who came out to support PEI Wild Child on Feb 27th. Wild Child is our nature immersion program designed by the Sierra Club Canada Foundation to get children in daycares and afterschool programs experiencing, exploring, and playing in nature.

Dartmouth Commons Takes Root makes a splash!

On October 18th, we hosted a tree and shrub planting in the Dartmouth Commons with the support of numerous community members who came out to assist, as well as city staff and elected representatives who showed their support both on the ground, and in council. 

Mayor Mike Savage, Councillor Gloria McCluskey, and Tree Canada's Bruce Carter plant a cherry shrub with Halifax Diverse Program Coordinator, David Foster




We had a great turnout of devoted community members who eagerly planted the 7 trees and 100+ shrubs that comprise the municipality's first community orchard.  

Name a Whale Challenge

     Name a Whale Challenge

You are a marine biologist.


Today, you are riding the waves of the Gulf of St Lawrence, scanning the surface for signs of whales. You’ve been studying them for years, so you know where they should be, but so far...nothing. You can’t help but worry….has something happened to them?

Blue Whale Campaign Dinner!

Join the Blue Whale Campaign in building public support for increased protection of our threatened gulf ecosystem and a moratorium on oil and gas development in these waters. 

On Saturday, November 1st at 6:30 pm, the Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. in New Glasgow, PEI will host a fundraiser dinner in support of the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter's Blue Whale Campaign to protect the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. 

Halifax Diverse Walks the spooky side of Halifax - Oct. 29th

This October we're taking a walk on the spookier side of things in the Halifax Commons area. We're going to be guided by expert historian and author, Blair Beed, who will show us the area around and including the Halifax Commons. Mr. Beed, a former contender for Halifax Town Crier, will take us in the footsteps of those who came before us, and tell us about the impacts these spirits have had, and still have today, on our city.

The winner of the Russell Lake Takes Root raffle prize receives his winnings




Congrats to the Russell Lake Takes Root raffle winner!

Congrats to Paul who won the raffle prize from Russell Lake Takes Root 2. He takes home a fall yard-care package from Kent, Russell Lake, consisting of a battery powered leaf blower/mulcher, electric chainsaw, lawn spreader, and more. A huge thanks to Kent Russell Lake for donating the prize in support of our program, and everyone who purchased tickets so that we can continue to provide quality events to the public!

The winner of the Russell Lake Takes Root raffle prize receives his winnings

Northwest Atlantic Blue Whale


The blue whale is history's largest animal, larger even than the dinosaurs. At 33 metres in length, a little over 100 feet, blue whales are roughly equivalent to three school buses parked end to end. But statistics are a weak substitute for actually seeing this animal, a real life leviathan turning the waters of Atlantic Canada. The famous broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough said it best:

"Its tongue weighs as much as an elephant, its heart is the size of a car and some of its blood vessels are so wide, you can swim down them."

Dartmouth Commons Takes Root

Saturday, September 27th, 10 am - 2 pm

Leighton Dillman Park, Dartmouth, NS (Nearest the Park Avenue Entrance)

Come celebrate the Dartmouth Commons with a day of food, entertainment for all ages, music, and learn about exciting plans for Leighton Dillman Park to become the first community orchard in the municipality! We've had street parties and bridge parties, now let's party in one of the city's oldest green spaces, recognizing the park's history, the community that has grown up around it, and the exciting future for everyone who call this park theirs.


Join the Facebook event for more information and updates.


Russell Lake Takes Root 2

Help us plant 2100 trees in Baker Drive Park, and celebrate Russell Lake Takes Root.

Last year we hosted our first tree planting in Russell Lake West, a new community branching off of Baker Drive in Dartmouth. We planted 1200 trees with the help of over 400 members of the community both local, and further afield. We're returning this year to continue our mission to make Baker Drive Park a greener place on Sept 20th, 10AM-2PM. 

We're back this year to plant 2100 trees along the east side of the building (right side in the image below) on the corner of Basswood Run and Baker Drive. Why are we planting a strip? Because one day this park will be used by many members of the community, and a small strip of forest between the building and park means the building residents are shielded from sound and prying eyes, and park users will feel some privacy from the overlooking balconies. It's a win-win solution!

Russell Lake Takes Root Take 2

We're back in Russell Lake Park in Dartmouth, NS and need your help to plant 2100 more trees on Saturday, September 20th (10AM-2PM).

In 2013 we planted 1200 trees to help make Baker Drive Park somewhere the community of Russell Lake will soon be proud to call their gathering place. Rejoin your community in a tree planting, meeting local businesses with promotions and give-aways, a free BBQ, and activities for all ages. Come out and celebrate your community, and help Russell Lake take root!

For more info and keep up with developments, check out the Facebook Event Page!

Thanks so much to Canon's Take Root Program, presented by Evergreen and our community sponsors and keen volunteers for helping make this project possible ! 



Blue Whale Bash


Save Our Seas and Shores – PEI Chapter and Sierra Club Canada Foundation are hosting a Blue Whale Bash at the PEI Farm Centre in Charlottetown, Sunday, Sept 7 from 1pm-5pm.

This event will feature local food and beverages, musical entertainment, a raffle for a chance to win a lobster supper, and an opportunity to donate and support the cause. The event will conclude with the raffle draw and presentations from campaign organizers, outlining the blue whale’s struggle for survival and the important role it plays off our coast.

In addition, there will be a large poster of a baby blue whale (seven metres in length) made available throughout the event on which children can colour. Colouring materials will be provided.

A Tall Grass Safari in Downtown Charlottetown

Tuesday, August 12 was my fourth visit to the Campus Kids Daycare centre. I had a very special treat planned that day and I had gotten up quite early to make sure everything was organized.

Before we set off for the day's activities I showed everyone a large assortment of insects and arachnids in cases and frames. These were from my personal collection but they suited the activity so well I couldn't miss an opportunity to share them with everyone. Among the creepy crawlers were an assortment of butterflies and beetles, including a rhinosaurous beetle as big as their hands. There was also a leaf bug, a millipede, a scorpion, and a tarantula. The children were both fascinated by the bugs and would have gladly stayed there all day looking at them.