Kids' Run for Nature

Photo by Simon Mgaya

Young environmentalists across Canada are running for the future of endangered species. Kids’ Run for Nature held its first annual event last June on a rainy Sunday at Withrow Park in Toronto.

Concerned about the future and well being of endangered species and with a passion for running, 10 year-olds Jasmine and Jett began to brainstorm ideas for their event and approached WWF-Canada with their mission and plans to turn their idea into reality.

“We created the Kids’ Run for Nature because we care about the earth and wanted to get kids and their families involved in our great natural community. We want to support our environment and all the amazing species it holds while getting our bodies active and healthy,” said Jasmine and Jett.

WWF-Canada provided full support and was there to help the girls achieve their goals with the event. All the proceeds from the run were given to WWF-Canada to fund its national initiatives that protect endangered species and their habitats across our country – from the humpback whales in the Great Bear Sea on BC’s Northwest Coast to the cod fisheries in Newfoundland’s Grand Banks region.

“Everyone was quite surprised at how well it went, how many supporters they were able to get and how motivated everyone was around the idea,” said Kelly Szandtner, the lead organizer of Kids’ Run for Nature. “The most powerful thing about the run was the children seeing that they were able to achieve something so significant in their community through their efforts.”

The event proved successful, raising over $6,000 for the WWF-Canada’s conservations programs and gathering a group of 200 young participants to run alongside their families and friends.

According to Jasmine and Jett, their dream for Kids’ Run for Nature would be to do for the environment what Terry Fox has done for cancer research. The next Kids’ Run for Nature will be held on Sunday, June 12, 2016 in Withrow Park.

Jasmine and Jett are currently working on organizing other Kids’ Run for Nature events across Ontario, and eventually across the nation.

Jasmine and Jett are looking to grow their pack of team leaders. If you want a Kids’ Run for Nature event in your community visit kidsrunfornature.ca.

Eunize Lao is the Editorial Intern and a third-year Environment and Business student at the University of Waterloo. 

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