Cathy Coates

Comox red cedar
Early Years PRogram
nature educator

Many paths have led me to being here in this delightful and nourishing place located on the Unceded Traditional Territory of the K’ómoks First Nation, the traditional keepers of this land. I am so very glad to be spending weekday mornings and some afternoons with our Forest Friends in my now home of Comox!!

My appreciation for Mother Nature began at my childhood home, which still overlooks Swan Lake and Christmas Hill Sanctuary in Victoria, B.C.

I attended classes at the Swan Lake Nature House as a wee one, exploring the lake, creek, fields, trees and all the critters in between! As a teenager, I learned the edible and medicinal uses of plants and flowers from Herbalist – Carol McGrath. I later became a volunteer teachers assistant at the Nature House for children’s programs. The place itself is still a dear friend to me. I wish to share the peace, inspiration, knowledge and wisdom I gained there. Moving to the Comox Valley in 2002, prior to becoming a mother myself, the Wind, my bicycle and my dog helped me to explore and create soulful connections with the elements and spirit of this place. I had the awesome opportunity to instruct Kindergym, recreational gymnastics, and Circus Arts at the Courtenay Lewis Centre for several years. Since 2009, Hornby Island Rec summer camp ‘Artistic Movement’ (Butterfly Freedom!) has been evolving under my care and joined with ‘Flexpeditions’ kids adventure camp in Revelstoke, melding my love of kids, movement, nature, science and creativity!!

Volunteering with Hand-in-Hand Nature Education for 2 annual Salmon Days at Ecole Puntledge Park (creating fish prints with the entire school!) opened doors for me to find myself working for 2 years with Hand-In-Hand. So, Intuition and natural affinity for this position is one thing, but to truly live out my purpose here with integrity and (self)respect…I felt I needed to delve deeper, take a year off work to attend North Island College to proudly complete the Early Childhood Care and Education Certificate Program, which was just the best choice I could have made! It is my aim to give my very best, heartfelt, educated care and guidance to the Children. I am honoured to share all that I am through the hearts of this community’s future; to be a genuine supporter and curious human working, living and playing amongst the History and Mystery of this place. I am thankful to be ever-evolving together with my co-educators, the children and families, along with this land, these waters, critters, creatures, features and surrounding populous.