This year, it's more than just warmer temperatures that make us want to get out and connect with nature this summer. After many months of being cooped up at home, the weather is finally changing – in more ways than one. Restrictions are being lifted and we can again access much of what the great outdoors has to offer. Here are some fun ways to get out and reconnect with nature in the summer time – even in a major city.
Plant a pollinator-friendly balcony garden
Planting a balcony garden is a great way to make the most of your very own little piece of the great outdoors. A few pots or containers with proper drainage, a flower box or two and some well chosen plants is all you need to get started. You'll want to familiarize yourself with the light conditions on your balcony. Does your balcony get full sun, partial sun or full shade? If you want to brighten your balcony, and help the ecosystem, you may want to consider planting pollinator-friendly plants like Bee Balm, Lavender, and Marigold.
Take a bike ride
There may be nothing that makes you feel more happy and free than taking a bike ride on a sunny day and feeling the wind in your face (remember to wear your helmet). If you prefer to have a destination in mind, pick a nearby cafe and apply some pedal power to get there. Reward yourself with anything you want on the menu.
Go to the park
Connecting with nature this summer doesn't have to be complicated. It can be as simple as walking or biking to a nearby park and just feeling the grass beneath your feet.
Pack a picnic
A day in the park with no picnic is, well, no picnic! You don't need to have a fancy picnic basket. All you really need are a few sandwiches, maybe some potato salad and something to drink. Avoid using single-use plastics if possible and pack your picnic in reusable containers. Remember to pack up any trash or recyclables when you leave and dispose of them appropriately at home.
Go fly a kite
If you want to guarantee yourself a grin while you're in the park – go fly a kite. The feel of the summer wind gently tugging on the kite string is a simple and sure-fire way to feel a little joy. Go ahead, try and fly a kite and not have a huge grin on your face. It's practically impossible.
Take a hike
You know those hiking trails you've been waiting to try? It's time to stop waiting. If you don't know of any trails near you, the AllTrails app lists over 14,500 great hiking trails, running trails and mountain biking trails across Canada. There are curated trail maps, driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers.
Go jump in the lake
If you're lucky enough to live within a short drive of a swimmable lake, be sure to take the leap this summer. There is nothing that screams summertime more than a refreshing swim in a Canadian lake. If you don't know where to find a swimmable lake near you, download the Swim Guide app from the App Store or Google Play.
We hope these ideas for how to connect with nature this summer help shine a little light on this special time.