Kids’ Run for Nature

On June 14, 2015 200 young runners alongside their families, friends and neighbours gathered in Toronto’s Withrow Park to support wildlife conservation at the first annual Kids’ Run for Nature. The Kids’ Run for Nature is a 1km and 5km FUN RUN geared towards children, youth and families in their own local community. The runners, many spectators, local sponsors and volunteers came together for a great day spent outdoors (the rain didn’t hold anyone back) that raised over $6,000 for WWF-Canada’s conservation programs.

Kids' Run for Nature © Simon Mgaya Photographer
Kids’ Run for Nature © Simon Mgaya Photographer

What inspired the Withrow area community to wake up early on a Sunday and brave the heavy downpour? It was 10 year olds Jasmine de Pencier and Jett Jardeleza-Toole. They were “worried about endangered animals and wanted to do something to protect them” …and so they did. But it wasn’t only wildlife that inspired them to take action, in their own words: “…we have created the Kids’ Run for Nature because we care about the earth and want to get kids and their families involved in our great natural community. We want to support our environment and all the amazing species it holds while getting our bodies active and healthy…”
Jett (left) and Jasmine (right)  © Simon Mgaya Photographer
Kids’ Run for Nature founders Jett (left) and Jasmine (right). © Simon Mgaya Photographer

They spent months coming up with a plan for the inaugural run, presenting their ideas to the WWF team and local businesses and executing the logistical details for what turned out to be a perfect day. They were successful in their mission to help support species at risk, bring their community closer to their natural environment and encourage activities that keep families healthy.
Do you like the idea of the Kids’s Run for Nature and have a great local community and park where you think it could be held? Let us know!  Jasmine and Jett are looking to expand the Kids’ Run to parks and communities all across the country next year! Join their team and help them help wildlife by sending us an email at [email protected].
You can also have a look at our ‘Fundraising for WWF’ webpage for other ideas. And don’t forget to check out our Community Panda Blog to see what others doing!