My experience of nature in Saskatoon happens at dog parks, on neighborhood walks, or in my yard and garden. I love to watch my dog swim in the river and to wade in with her as we play fetch. And having a new baby - I’ve been amazed at how much fun I’m having observing him interact with insects, grass, and trees.
For me, my time spent outdoors in Saskatoon is de-stressing, relaxing, mind-clearing, prayerful, active, and filled with play. Building my sense of connectedness to nature around me in the city has become a vital part of how I regulate my emotions, make sense of the world, and feel grounded.
When I take time to be outdoors, whether that is on my bike ride to work or sitting at the park with my son, I feel connected to my surroundings and that has a profound effect on my ability to be at peace with myself and interact positively with those I meet. For me, there is a strong correlation between my nature connectedness and my emotional intelligence.
I do enjoy camping, hiking, and many other activities in the wilderness but my daily rhythm of time spent outdoors in the city builds my ecological identity in ways that create resilience, connection, gratitude, and belonging in my life. I think that our river valley access, our parks and paths, and the urban forest we share with so many other species in Saskatoon are vital to our health and well-being!