On Saturday June 10th, settlement worker Natalya Khan took a group of recent immigrant and refugee families to Kanaka Creek Regional Park. Natalya was our main point of contact during her group’s application to the Bus Grant Program. She expressed an endless amount of gratitude throughout the process and we are thrilled to report that her group had an unforgettable day at Kanaka Creek.
The Bus Grant Program provides transportation funding to people who experience barriers to accessing regional parks. At Pacific Parklands Foundation we believe that no one should be deprived of accessing nature because of their age, income, background, or abilities.
Unfortunately, the reality is that many groups face barriers to accessing Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks. For Natalya’s group, many of the families face multiple barriers, including an unfamiliarity with the area and a lack of private transportation. Moreover, many of the refuge families that participated have experienced post-war trauma and are plagued with unsettling memories. Transporting these families to nature and “introducing them to the beauties of regional parks has a soothing effect, and helps in moving forward with their lives,” says Natalya.
We are happy to report that Natalya’s group had an amazing day in the park. Feedback from the group was extremely positive and reinforced our view that regional parks provide an invaluable escape from everyday life. When asked about their favourite parts of the trip, many participants spoke of relaxation. For most of the group it was an opportunity to see new places, meet new people and learn about new ecosystems. We were delighted to hear that four participants valued the trip for its role in instilling environmental values in their children. These participants spoke of the importance of teaching their kids about nature so that they are driven to protect of our regional parks in the future.
We are overjoyed with the development of the Bus Grant Program and can’t wait to share more stories like Natalya’s in the future. If you or someone you know is having challenges with transportation to a regional park consider the Bus Grant Program. For more information: http://ow.ly/r3CE30cANhx