#playoutdoors – less screen time, more outdoor time


spending time in nature has positive physical and mental health benefits for both adults and children

in the fall of 2016, thegreenrock.ca in collaboration with the  Junior Forest Wardens NL launched a  #playoutdoors awareness campaign to get people outdoors and start new Junior Forest Warden NL Clubs.  Junior Forest Wardens, a family-based outdoor adventure group, has been active in NL since the 1940s.  numerous families have reaped the benefits of outdoor together time over the years, but numbers have been declining since the 1980s.

nature deficit disorder: kids are spending less time outdoors

kids these days are spending more time on screens than outdoors and that’s causing problems to their health. there’s extensive research about Nature Deficit Disorder. conversely, spending time in nature for adults, and especially for children brings the mental and physical health benefits. children experience positive social, psychological, and spiritual impacts on their personal and cognitive development.



JFW helps families and friends find time to hang out in the woods

as a side effect of modern, busy and sedentary lifestyles in recent years our exposure to nature has diminished. within a generation, Canada has transitioned from a rural to an urban nation, with 80% of Canadians now living in cities. as a result of this transition, it is estimated that Canadians today spend on average 90% of their time indoors, which has lead to a variety of chronic health issues as a result of sedentary lifestyles

aside from the mental and physical health benefits, getting kids in nature can also have positive impacts on our environment and our communities. a study by the University of British Columbia, suggests that providing positive childhood experiences in nature, can help to develop care and awareness of the environment as adults.

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children who play outside are more likely to protect nature as adults

#playoutdoors campaign

the Junior Forest Wardens NL is dedicated to bringing families with school-aged children together to enjoy and learn about the natural environment. together thegreenrock.ca and JFW launched a successful campaign that delivered 10 community outreach events, reached out to 17 community organizations which engaged over 50 families in the St. John’s metro area and led to the start of two new JFW Clubs:  the Wild Wanderers and the Rollin’ Capelin.

up next
after all the success of the #playoutdoors thegreenrock.ca is working with JFW and other community partners to look into ways to expand the project this year. stay tuned!

update! #playoutdoors won a 2017 Pinnacle Award by the International Association of Business Communicators Newfoundland and Labrador! read all about it here



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thegreenrock.ca goes to the woods… day 2

lesson 2 – get on with it.  it’s not the thing, its the reaction that makes a fuss.

stuff happens all the time to and with everyone.  if reaction to stuff (screaming, annoyance, frustration…) takes priority and precedence over resulting action (fixing, picking up, stopping flow of blood)… stuff will fool you up.

the sun moves across the sky.   the tide comes in and goes out.  the stars appear.  and disappear.  reoest.

makes me feel silly for ever worrying. about anything.


thirty days – day 25. where it takes you.

i was carless on the friday.  the day was bizarre – windy, rainy, warm up (i.e. not good for biking) until around 4 when everything turned pink.   given the light factor, i took to the road on foot just before 5 for the 30 minute walk to the studio.  and i arranged a ride home from my daughter’s dance class.

unfortunately the walk took me 33 minutes.


o dear.  this was the last class of the day, so day 25 would be without class.

everything that doesn’t happen creates space for something else to happen.

so off i went to visit my ma down the road.   she was delighted to see me!   but she and her pal were just about to head out for a walk.  anyone who knows my mother knows that walking is not her thing, but she’s cultivated the habit recently.  i’ve enjoyed her stories about her walks.  her pal says she doesn’t ‘walk’, she toddles.  she also waves to people, sits down on benches to smoke, changes direction without notice, might stop and ask someone any sort of question, and doesn’t always look where she’s going.

1460657_10151697013402553_1982747158_oi joined them on the walk and we laughed all the way to sobeys.

weaving through rabbitown was fun, and i popped in to visit a friend’s mother who i had been wanting to see.  after a nice chat i headed to the studio.

terri my friend and the dance teacher was happy to drive us home.  my daughter said she was hungry, and as i had no meal planned, it rigged out that we went to leo’s.   delight! the studio is near several fish and chip shops, and i had an intention of a good feed in the future.  here it was.

leo’s was perfect.  warm, lively, and crowded around the cash.  the waitress came to us and took our order from the floor… she just kind of walked over and asked what we wanted.   my youngest daughter (not present) enjoys a good hamburger, but having traveled through italy last summer, she’s got a peculiar way of ordering.  she politely says, “I’d like a hamburger.  cooked.  with a top bun and a bottom bun.  with no egg.  bun/meat/bun.  nothing else, please.”  i didn’t mention the cooked/egg criteria, but did start to say ‘bun, meat….” and the excellent waitress joined me!  together we created the three layers with hand gestures.  bun meat bun.  it was wondrous.

we settled in to wait, but then out of the corner of my eye i saw my friends and famous people, andy jones and mary lynn bernard.  how good was that!   they always rachet the happy factor up a notch, and they did again.  not far off was their daughter, also famous (Republic of Doyle), and that gave my 14-year-old a happy thrill.

how could this get any better?  when the meal was ready terri said it was her treat.    we laughed and talked all the way home.

two thumbs up.  and i credit the 30 day challenge.  it may mean 29 classes in 30 days, but that measures up.

urban, hip chick-ens

who knew?   chickens live and lay right in the middle of the City!

thegreenrock.ca conservation corps green team dropped by to say ‘hi’ during summer of 2011.

fair to say you’ve got to be green to get this going good – when you check out the happy chickens, check out the clothes on the line, the vegetable patch, and the stellar coop!

if you like what you see check out City by-law 1514, amendment 1516, animal control, and check out a few resources http://www.backyardchickens.com/


Jimmy Hikes! – trails in and around St. John’s

it’s spring-ish ~ crocuses peeking up, snow unshoveled and gone, and the icebergs cometh! great time to hit the trails.  during the summer of 2011 thegreenrock.ca Conservation Corps Green Team took to the hills and found that there is much to be got from wandering, strolling and striding the hills of the East Coast Trails.

check it out – add colour to spring!   find out more at http://eastcoasttrail.ca/ 

green your summer

it’s cold out now, but underneath the frost green is on the go!  the conservation corps is receiving applications from community groups who want green teams to help complete their environmental and cultural heritage projects during the summer of 2012.   green teams do amazing things!  thegreenrock.ca green team made videos, and others get up to their knees in green action.  in this vid, thegreenrock.ca green team checked in to see what their wetland surveying colleagues were up to.

deadline for proposals from community groups is February 29th! – http://ccnl.ca/community-partners/

the conservation corps is also recruiting Regional Supervisors, and Green Team Leader and Member positions will be available in the coming months.  check it ou!  http://ccnl.ca/what-s-available/

worn well – the sustainable shirt on your back!

why was kathy wearing a bag?

a few weeks into summer 2011, thegreenrock.ca green team felt the need to branch out from the very cool but worn-a-lot conservation corps t-shirts.  kathy, mike, and anna (devin stayed home) checked in with carol-ann at frenchy’s.  they got good gear!

summer is now long gone, but t’is the season, and frenchy’s has more great stuff – to give as well as to get!  check it out!

Frenchy’s Thrift Boutique ~ Best Dressed. For Less. ~ Torbay Road Mall
141 Torbay Road, St. John’s     579-7390    http://on.fb.me/Frenchys

thegreenrock.ca Green Team takes to the mat with Nova Yoga

what does sustainability have to do with yoga?  everything!  being mindful of your body, mind and spirit creates inner space and makes room to care for yourself, your family, your community and your world.  green up!


our greenest strengths – about habits for your habitat

Through the summer of 2011, a Conservation Corps Green Team of four excellent videographers – Anna Westin, Mike Fardy, Kathy Oke, and Devin Shears – took to the streets, shops, swimming holes, gardens and markets out and about St. John’s in search of greener practices.  They found much.

Each week a new installment of what they found, our ‘greenest strengths’, will be released here.   To get started, thegreenrock principal kim todd gives a big picture look at what thegreenrock.ca is all about.  Check it out, please and share by any and all means!

my favourite things

the top three things that happened to me in the past seven days:

1.  today garbage day.  this is a disgrace because im a green wanna be.

2.  the perfect coffee.    after numerous, too numerous failures with the moka pot, after the gaggia pure gave up, i made a perfect cup.  made my day.  made my week.

3.  when they eat what i cook.  six people:  71-year old who eats bologna.  46 year old who does not want meat or anything white.  12 year old who likes white.  9 year old who likes white.  seven year old who likes not much.  but they all ate the  macaroni & cheese!