Building Connections to Nature

How often do you think about nature? All the time? On the weekends? Not at all? Living in the city, I can’t help but feel there is a palpable distance growing between the people who call cities home and the fundamental provider for all life on earth – nature. With over 50% of the world’s population now living in cities, the gap between people and nature may be the largest in history.

Urban Nestwork - Wild About Vancouver

Urban Nestwork - Wild About Vancouver

The Urban Nestwork came together in hopes of taking an earnest step towards providing that connection to nature. While brainstorming ideas of how to create this connection for people, our team had a close encounter with a northern flicker – a native woodpecker to the west coast – and instantly felt a tangible connection to nature. That moment was the catalyst of this project.

Through partnerships with organizations like Uproot, Radius and IMPACT!, we are creating do-it-yourself nest box kits made from upcycled waste wood. We are inviting community members to not only build a nest box for native birds whose populations are in decline, but to build a memory and a visceral connection to the home they are providing to those birds. Seeing and hearing those birds use something that you created can be a powerful tool in bridging the gap between people and nature.

The funds we raise through this project are being reinvested into more ways of fostering a connection to nature including interactive bird watching experience tours and community nest box building workshops. Our hope is that by exploring novel ways of connecting people to nature we will be able to reach an even wider and more diverse people and together reframe our relationship to the world around us.



- Nathan Ross Co-Founder of the Urban Nestwork

Thumbnail by Kevin Cole - originally posted to Flickr as Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana), CC BY-SA 2.0,