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Nature education for children + youth so they can thrive today and lead tomorrow.

The ChariTree Foundation is a national non-profit connecting children across Canada and around the world to environmental education to help them survive and thrive today and lead a better tomorrow. 

The Greater-Vancouver-based ChariTree Foundation is a United Nations Climate Observer Organization, putting children’s rights at the forefront of climate action to improve their education, health and future. We believe in empowering young people through hands-on learning with outdoor classrooms and advocacy.

Support youth today to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

The climate crisis is a child’s rights crisis

Children require a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment as a fundamental right. Their future depends on it. Yet, the triple planetary crisis — the climate emergency, biodiversity loss, and widespread pollution — presents an urgent and far reaching threat to children’s health, wellbeing and futures. By listening to children’s voices, we can understand their concerns and eagerness to help the planet.

We have a unique moment in history where we can champion environmental education for a global generation of kids growing up in a world accelerating towards runaway climate change.

It’s never been more crucial to support a child’s ability to survive and thrive in their changing world.  

And when children and youth understand climate change and how it impacts them and the world they depend on, they make a lifelong commitment to protect the environment for themselves and future generations.

Climate action and nature protection starts with education. 

That’s why The ChariTree Foundation’s national and international children’s school and summer camp climate education programs help kids develop environmental literacy, an appreciation for nature, and outdoor life skills. 

It’s about supporting transformative, innovative and transdisciplinary education, formal and informal, at all levels, including science-policy interface studies and lifelong learning processes, recognizing diverse world views, values and knowledge systems of indigenous peoples and local communities. Learn more how we’re transforming climate education and climate action for youth.

Climate action supports children’s physical and mental well-being

“Children are the most impacted and least to blame for the climate crisis. We have a unique moment in history where we can champion environmental education for a global generation of kids growing up in a world accelerating towards runaway climate change.” — Andrea Koehle Jones, The ChariTree Foundation’s executive director and children’s climate education advocate.

Children and youth are more disconnected from nature than ever before.

They’re overscheduled between school, extracurriculars, volunteering, part-time jobs, and their social lives, making it difficult to carve out time to meaningfully connect to nature.

One in 7 youth in Canada are also struggling with a mental health issue, with anxiety being the most common. The lack of time spent outside is a contributing factor: youth spend nearly 8 hours a day with media, but are able to pack in almost 11 hours worth of content engagement thanks to multitasking across devices.

Children need nature

Regular time outdoors is essential for their physical and mental health. Research has proven time spent in nature decreases feelings of stress, sadness, and anxiety. 

Plus, time spent outdoors playing and exploring helps children and youth build critical thinking, creativity, resiliency, and social skills.

Time in nature can also strengthen youth’s physical health, from improved flexibility and lung strength to heart and bone health. 

Connecting children and youth to nature through conservation projects, outdoor classrooms and hands-on learning supports their well-being, empowers them to become ambassadors for climate action, and builds their leadership skills. 

Learn how we’re connecting youth to nature.