Photo: Is nature the answer?

Dave the Gnome with Whaley Awesome, winners of the 30×30 staff challenge.

By Dave the Gnome

My name is Dave and I'm addicted to nature. Having completed my 30×30 Challenge, I am now proudly reconnected with nature and won't be looking back. I've reprised my role as the official David Suzuki Foundation garden gnome. No more locked storage closets for me! Booyah!

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But the challenge wasn't as easy as it sounds. I had my own "challenges" with the 30×30 Challenge. With a tight project deadline and catching the flu, I missed two of my 30 days in nature. Despite the imperfect record, however, I have had life-changing experiences and have become a better gnome — calmer, more joyous and even a little bit smarter. (Yes, it's true. Time in nature improves your brain function!)
David Suzuki Foundation Staff on a bird-watching walking tour.

And for the last week of the challenge, the adventurous David Suzuki Foundation staff held 30×30 outings at work. As a result, I got to take part in a bird-watching walking tour, crafted clay tree spirits, learned how to become a professional beekeeper and even went for an eagle-scouting bike ride down the seawall. It's been a wild ride!

As for the 30×30 staff challenge, the results are in. And the winner is — drum roll, please — the Whaley Awesome team! It was extremely close, but my team managed to slide ahead and take first prize. Here are the final results:


Final Scores for 30×30 Staff Challenge

#1 Whaley Awesome 102.59%
#2 The Crash 102.50%
#3 Wal 'R Us 102.50%
#4 Heroes-in-a half shell — Turtle Power! 97.08%
#5 Horton's Whoteam 95.42%
#6 Tigers 92.08%
#7 Bush Babies 86.25%
#8 Groovy Gorillas 81.43%
#9 Stealthy Night Warriors 77.08%
#10 Roller Polar Bears 75.83%
NOTE: The percentage scores represent team participation in nature over the past 30 days. Bonus points were awarded for organizing outdoor events, which account for scores greater than 100 per cent.
Parry from Calgary, AB is the winner of the final week in the 30×30 Photo Contest.

From forest expeditions to wine tours, I've really enjoyed the 30×30 adventure. I wonder, though, how has getting into nature affected others? Hmmm...Share your experiences by filling out the post-30×30 survey (sent to your email if you signed up for 30×30) so we can find out. When you fill out the survey, you'll also be invited to join me for a webinar on June 10 to hear how other Canadians and gnomes responded to the survey, and what we experienced from spending time in nature. What will the results be? Make sure to tune in to find out!

Signing off from the David Suzuki Foundation garden,

Dave the Gnome

May 31, 2013

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