The importance of community (and conservation) during COVID-19
This new normal sure doesn’t feel very normal. The growing COVID-19 emergency is affecting all of our lives, and here at WWF-Canada we want to first and foremost express our concern and support for all of you as we deal with this crisis.
Now is the time to come together by staying apart, but also by offering to help those around us in need — maybe by doing grocery or pharmacy runs for elderly neighbours and others in high-risk groups or self-isolation. And by calling friends and family just to see how they’re holding up.
We are a community, and social distancing doesn’t mean we have to brave this by ourselves, or that we can’t still look after each other.
It also doesn’t mean we have to stay cooped up indoors. WWF-Canada supporters are stewards of nature — and it’s important for mental and physical well-being during this period of uncertainty to go outside for a walk or a hike.
By that same token, we’ve decided to transition WWF-Canada’s CN Tower Climb for Nature to a now-national “virtual climb” on April 4 and 5, which you can now do in nature, or in your own home, while still practicing social distancing and good hygiene to minimize risk.
Instead of climbing 1,776 stairs up the CN Tower’s 144 flights, we’re encouraging everyone to come up with their own physical challenge for nature. You can find a forest trail and walk 17,760 steps (an equivalent of about 13 km) or climb up and down the stairs in your home or apartment building 144 times, or even do a dance-a-thon in your living room. Participants can use a phone or fitness tracker — and the hashtag #VirtualCNTowerClimb — to show their donors and the community that they’ve achieved their goals.
The 30th anniversary of the climb certainly isn’t what any of us expected it to be. But it’s still WWF-Canada’s most significant fundraiser — the donations that our supporters collect are what make our vital conservation work possible.
The threats to caribou, polar bears, orca, pika and all of Canada’s other at-risk species are real, and we continue our efforts to combat the dual crisis of biodiversity and climate change.
That’s why all of us at WWF-Canada are all still hard at work (albeit from our homes as we’ve closed all the offices) from Victoria to St. John’s and Toronto to Iqaluit, so we can ensure staff safety and prevent spread.
We have also decided to postpone Kids’ Runs for Nature until September, though we’ll evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis. We deeply appreciate the children’s support for WWF and look forward to carrying on when it is safe to gather again.
These are unprecedented times, but we will get through them together just as we have always worked to safeguard species and habitats together. Stay safe and stay strong.