Children in Nature

Children in Nature

Alberta TrailNet Future Trail Builders Competition 2022

*Contest Closed*


With the advent of spring and summer outdoor adventures, Alberta TrailNet hopes YOU will start thinking about trails! We are looking for Future Trail Builders to show off their creativity by designing and building a trail at home. Trail Builders can use any materials at their disposal, including blankets, drawings, cardboard, LEGO®, dirt, popsicle sticks, string, Hot Wheels® tracks, or anything else! Eight (8) prizes of $100 each for spending on your outdoor recreation interest will be awarded based on creativity, trail ‘usability’, and your trail description. Contest entries will be judged by an appointed panel. While prizes will only be awarded to Albertans from the specified age groups and categories, Young Trail Builders from anywhere in the world are welcome to share their trail masterpieces via social media by using the hashtag #iamatrailbuilder and tagging @AlbertaTrailNet. The Contest runs from April 11, 2022 until June 4, 2022. Eligible Alberta entries must be emailed to Alberta TrailNet ( as either a video or still images and, with parental permission, may be displayed on Alberta TrailNet’s website and social media.


Eligibility for prizes is restricted to residents of Alberta within the following age categories:

  • Ages 3 – 6
  • Ages 7 – 10
  • Ages 11 – 13
  • Ages 14 – 16

There will be two categories for each age group.

One category will be for two-dimensional images of the trail, such as maps, drawings or paintings.  Each entry may consist of up to ten images, which may be photographs or scans of the maps, drawings or paintings of the trail, or a video of no more than three minutes showing up to ten two-dimensional maps, drawings or paintings of the trail.

The other category will be for three-dimensional models of the trail.  Each entry may consist of from one to ten photographs of the model, or a video of no more than three minutes showing the model of the trail.

No more than one entry per child will be accepted. A completed contest entry form and release waiver must also be attached in the submission email. These can be found at

All entries must include:

  • A photo/video of your trail
  • A completed Entry Form
  • A completed Media Release Form

Contestants are not required to be included in any photos or videos of their trail, and faces can be blurred in order to protect Contestant identities. Information gathered from the Entry Form may be used on Alberta TrailNet website and on social and promotional media. No full names (first names only) or locations of Contestants will be released. No information will be provided to third parties. 

Start Date

April 11, 2022

End Date

June 4, 2022 11:59 p.m. MST (National Trails Day)


$100/winner to go towards outdoor recreation interests.

Additional Comments

A panel of judges appointed by Alberta TrailNet will judge entries on:

  • Creativity
  • The ‘usability’ of your trail
  • Your trail description and name
  • ‘Excitement’ level of your trail


  1. Eligibility: This Contest is only open to legal residents of Alberta who sign up using the entry form posted at and who are 3 – 16 years of ageas of the date of entry. Employees of Alberta TrailNet, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the Contest. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.
  2. Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, You agree to accept the decisions of Alberta TrailNetas final and binding as it relates to the content of this Contest.
  3. Contest Period: Entries will be accepted online starting on April 11, 2022and ending June 4, 2022, 11:59 p.m., MST.
  4. How to Enter: The Contest must be entered by emailing photos or a video of your trail to, and a completed entry and release form using the online form. The entry must fulfill all specified Contest requirements to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are incomplete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Alberta TrailNet. Only one entry per child with the requested information will be accepted. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities, or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If You use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules, your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion of Alberta TrailNet.
  5. Prizes: The Winner(s) of the Contest (the “Winner”) will receive $100 towards their outdoor recreation interest. The prize is non-transferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, provincial, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others is permitted.
  6. Odds: The odds of winning depends on the number of eligible entries received.
  7. Winner Selection and Notification: Winner will be selected byappointed judgesunder the supervision of Alberta TrailNet. Winner will be notified by email within five (5) days following selection of Winners. Alberta TrailNet shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, or fails to claim the prize within 30 days from the time award notification was sent, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate Winner selected. Receipt by Winner of the prize offered in this Contest is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, provincial, and local laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT ALBERTA TRAILNET’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CONTEST, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.
  8. Personal Information: Personal information obtained in contest entry will not be used or disclosed by Alberta TrailNet for any purpose other than contest administration. Only first names will be used to share contest projects on TrailNet social media pages where permission has been granted to Alberta TrailNet to do so via contest Release Form.

Click here for full contest rules.

Click here for contest entry form

See below for an example of a trail made by one of our past future trail builders, Benson.

Family Fun Trail Activities

Alberta TrailNet has developed some fun activities for families to enjoy as the weather heats up. Print out the activity pages below and start your adventure.

Trail Adventure Bingo

Trail I Spy Bingo

Family Fun Scavenger Hunt

These activities are provided to encourage outdoor activity and safe trail practices. There are no formal prizes or competitions organized by Alberta TrailNet in conjunction with printable Family Fun Trail Activities, but we would love see you out on the trails. Share your trail adventures and your sightings with us on social media at @AlbertaTrailNet and use #ABTrails .

Be sure that you are taking all of the proper safety measures when going out on the trails. Follow safety measures and precautions put forward by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The following information supports safe recreation practices for when you are on the trails:

  • Stay home if you exhibit any symptoms of illness.
  • Follow physical distancing guidelines.
  • Carry water, hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes to further protect yourself and wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Do not touch your face.
  • Tell someone in your household where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone. Take a cell phone with you so you can be contacted or contact others if needed.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands on returning home.

More on Children in Nature

Trails provide important opportunities for children and their families to access, experience and learn about nature. Our failure to ensure that children have rich connections with nature has led to what Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and founder of the Children and Nature Network, terms Nature Deficit Disorder. Louv points out that a generation growing up with little or no experience in the natural world is exhibiting exploding rates of psychological and physical problems.

All too often, we prescribe new medications rather than fresh air. Yet nature can be even more powerful than pharmaceuticals in treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), clinical depression, obesity and other near epidemic diseases. The challenge to act resides in all of us. We need to find creative and engaging ways to capture the interest of children and their parents in the magic of the natural world. We need to toss these ideas out to communities, where they can help them grow and flourish.

“Our society is teaching young people to avoid direct experience in nature. That lesson is delivered in schools, families, even organizations devoted to the outdoors, and codified in the legal and regulatory structures of many of our communities. Our institutions, urban/suburban design, and cultural attitudes unconsciously associate nature with doom, while disassociating the outdoors from joy and solitude. Well-meaning public-school systems, media, and parents are effectively scaring children straight out of the woods and fields. In the patent-or-parish environment of higher education, we see the death of natural history as the more hands-on disciplines, such as zoology, give way to more theoretical and remunerative microbiology and genetic engineering. As the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of human experience. Several studies suggest that thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature can even be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorders and other maladies. As one scientist puts it, we can now assume that just as children need good nutrition and adequate sleep, they may very well need contact with nature.”
– Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

Source: Alberta Recreation and Parks Association – Children in Nature: Report from the Dialogue on Children in Nature – Alberta Edition

Website Links

Source: Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

To promote a trail network, including the Trans Canada Trail, connecting all Albertans.