Vital People: NatureHood map helps you find adventures on your doorstep

Vital People: NatureHood map helps you find adventures on your doorstep
WatchA new Victoria NatureHood map is helping people to connect to nature close to home. Tess van Straaten has the details in Vital People.

Kitty Islet, at the end of Oak Bay’s McNeill Bay, is a great place to connect with nature and explore the amazing marine environment of the Salish Sea.

“I just love it because there’s a huge variety of nature here, there’s tons of birds, of course we’re in the migratory bird sanctuary and if you’re lucky you could spot an orca,” said bike tour guide Alexa Andolong.

The migratory bird sanctuary is one of the reasons Alexa brings bike tours here and it’s also why this special spot is part of Nature Canada’s NatureHood initiative to get people outdoors.

“Nature is such an abundance of learning opportunities and it brings some mental compassion and peace and it just allows you to have a zen moment,” explained NatureHood volunteer Kathleen Burton.

Kathleen is passionate about the benefits of being in nature — and protecting it.

And this new interactive Greater Victoria NatureHood map is a guide to all the adventures around us — helping to promote ‘nature in the city’.

“These places are literally on your doorstep,” Burton said. “It’s the park right next door to you and you can go to any of them — they’re all open free of charge.”

One of the must-see attractions is the grounds of Government House, with beautiful gardens and public trails through the natural Garry Oak ecosystem that volunteers help to maintain.

“We’re blessed with 36 acres at Government House and any opportunity to encourage more of the public to come and enjoy it — and you can even bring your dogs, the better,” said Jerymy Brownridge of Government House.

Government House was the first spot on the South Island to be a designated a NatureHood location back in 2017.

Anderson Hill is another location, with panoramic views of Trial Islands and the Olympic Mountains, rocky out crops and native flora and fauna.

Back at nearby Kitty Islet, people are excited to learn about the NatureHood map.

“I think it’s good,” a teenager told CHEK News. “We have a lot of technology these days and people just aren’t spending as much time outside.”

“It’s fantastic because that is the place people should be, enjoying nature and it’s the healthiest part of life,” added a senior visiting from Montreal.

With 25 NatureHood spots in Greater Victoria, there’s so much to explore just outside your door.

“I really think people deep inside have a need or have a need to be connected to nature and to be outside, especially nowadays during the pandemic,” Andolong said.

You can get a free copy of the NatureHood map at the following locations:

NatureHood Partner Locations:
– Government House
– CRD’s Panama Rec Centre & SeaParc Leisure Complex
– District of Saanich and Saanich Rec Centres
– District of Oak Bay
– Township of Esquimalt and the Esquimalt Rec Centre
– Bateman Centre
– Eagle Wing Tours
– Gorge Waterway Nature House
– Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary
Community Locations:
– Destination Victoria Visitor Centre
– Esquimalt and Oak Bay Pharmasave
Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!