This is a continuation of our Inspired By Nature series, where we highlight Canadians who are dedicated to sharing the health benefits of nature by getting others outside and unplugged. Know someone who we should feature? Email email@example.com.
Hi, I’m Jaclyn Clarke and I’m the founder of Brave and Free Littles. In my spare time you will find me outdoors, hiking or biking with my family. I also love exploring new playgrounds around Metro Vancouver with my two energetic boys. I’m an introvert who loves to push my own limits and conquer my fears. I’m currently a stay-at-home-mom who loves animals, coffee and time spent in nature with my kids.
Hiking in the forest is my favourite way to spend time outdoors. I love being amongst the trees: it gives me so much energy and peace being in the forest.
My family and I spend a lot of time on Burnaby Mountain. There are so many great trails that are easy enough for children of all ages to hike on their own. The trails are dual use so they are great for hiking and biking. Some of our favourite hiking trails are the North Road Trail on Burnaby Mountain, the Pacific Spirit Regional Park trails and the loop around Buntzen Lake.
The inspiration behind Brave and Free Littles
Brave and Free Littles was created to motivate and inspire my family to spend more time outdoors, but over the past year it has turned into a community resource that has helped inspire other families to get outdoors as well.
We share all of the best parks and playgrounds on our Instagram page to help give families ideas of where they can take their kids. My sister-in-law, Mila Tam, and I decided to start an outdoor meet up group in an attempt to create a community of families interested in getting their kids outdoors more.
What do Brave and Free Littles do?
We go on hikes and nature walks. We have met at Climb Base5 to learn rock climbing. We meet at pump tracks and bike parks to allow our kids to practice their riding skills together. We also meet at playgrounds regularly. At our meet ups we have done lots of bird watching, scavenger hunts, nature crafts, garbage collecting and more.
Favourite Brave and Free Little moments
Seeing budding friendships happening amongst the children that join us, as well as a their apparent growing love for nature is one of the highlights of running these meet ups. Another bonus is seeing all of the moms who have joined us making new friendships as well.
Advice if you want to get outside and unplugged, too.
Any time spent outdoors is beneficial for children. Even a local park or your own backyard counts as time spent in nature.
When hiking with kids I always bring special snacks and a bright coloured toy to play hide and seek with. Both of these things have saved our hikes on countless occasions. My kids also love using walking sticks on our hikes so we make it a priority to find the perfect one when we begin our walks.