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Fall in love with Go Wild

This spring, WWF-Canada is inviting Canadians to Go Wild and share their best ideas for getting their community more involved in helping nature thrive. The top five ideas will be awarded a micro-grant of up to $1,000 to help bring their idea to life. To select the best projects, four notable nature lovers will be part of the jury. Ziya Tong, host of Daily Planet and board member at WWF-Canada, is one of our judges.

Ziya tong

© Discovery Canada

Ziya Tong is in love.

In love with the wild.

And it’s not all rainbows and purple frogs. It’s the little things. You know, like white chameleons, single-celled life forms, and the waterflea.

“I believe that when you fall in love with the world,” she says, “you will fight to protect it.”

Because so many of us live in cities, we don’t get to see the world the way a biologist would. In fact, we may not be even aware of the life – or biodiversity – in our backyard. That’s why Ziya thinks it’s so important to share the stories behind unknown species on Daily Planet and Twitter. She wants to spread the amazing stories that make people fall in love with the planet.

With abundant forests and lakes and oceans at the doorsteps to our cities, we’re a nation that gets outside. Canadians are already deeply connected to nature, and Ziya hears about that connection all the time in response to her show and Twitter. But for all this abundance, we take nature for granted. We’re missing the urgency that drive us to take action for nature. And without that urgency, it’s easy for the majority of us living in urban areas who are complacent in a way that others, who live with the impacts of big environmental problems, can’t afford to be.

Ziya joined Go Wild as a judge to encourage us to help our neighbours fall in love with nature and then do something about it. She’s inspired by the book “The Forest Unseen” by David George Haskell. He found a small old-growth forest patch near his home in Tennessee and visits it every day for a year, discovering the amazing life that took place in that one patch.

For Go Wild, Ziya is inviting us all to become biologists. To go visit a piece of nature each week. To take a photo and document this place for an entire year. To marvel at the life that is possible – even in a parking lot tree. To fall in love with nature and then fight to protect it.

Tell Ziya (@ziyatong) and WWF (@wwfcanada) what makes you feel connected to nature using #wwfgowild. Have an idea for connecting people in your community with nature, but need some help? Submit it at wwf.ca/gowild before April 15. All submissions will be considered and the top five will be chosen to receive a micro-grant of up to $1,000.

More about Go Wild here.

Read David Miller’s Wild idea here.