When you travel, it’s the vast differences between the living, breathing aspects of your travel destination and the place you call home that make a new place feel foreign. Suddenly you’re surrounded by lush palm trees instead of stunted spruce, or venomous, calculated snakes instead of stunned moose. One perk of travel is that brief immersion in something new.

But for those who had to relocate from their homeland to Newfoundland, that feeling of unfamiliarity with a place makes it hard to call a new home, home.

To make Newfoundland feel less foreign for new Canadians, Nature NL has partnered with the Association for New Canadians and Grand Concourse Trails on a pilot program that aims to acquaint newcomers with the Newfoundland environment.

The program launches at The Rooms on Wednesday; attendees will receive an introduction to nature in Newfoundland. This will be followed by a field trip to Salmonier Nature Park on October 8th for a more live-in-the-flesh experience of Newfoundland’s wildlife and wild land. In addition to getting acquainted with their new four-legged and leaf-ed neighbours on the island, the pilot project is simply a nice way to get out and see the province.

“Organizers are hopeful that this pilot project will grow into a long-term program and encourage the exchange of ideas across cultures,” says NatureNL. “We also hope it will promote Newfoundland’s natural areas as a source of recreation, health, and well-being for all Canadians.”

The fall session will be followed by a winter session, which is still in the planning stages, but will focus on winter recreation and safety, as well as plants and animals that one might see in the winter.

Participants in this pilot project have been identified by the Association for New Canadians. NatureNL hopes that upon completion of a successful pilot, they can continue conversations with collaborators to
see how to move forward and include more people.

“There are elements of humanity that bridge cultures, cross borders, and transcend language, and our connection to the natural world is one of them. This pilot project, led by NatureNL is a wonderful way to welcome newcomers to our province.” – Perry Trimper, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Nature Newfoundland and Labrador is an organization dedicated to the appreciation, understanding and protection of wildlife and our natural heritage across the province.