How often do you catch yourself walking outside, on a mission to get to your destination, without a glance at your surroundings? Have you paused to wonder how that wildflower started growing, or what will happen to that plastic bottle lying on the ground? ClearWaterKids Challenge brings young viewers closer to nature – directly onto a working farm, in fact – showing them first-hand how much fun the environment can be.
This entertaining and engaging show encourages and stimulates kids to explore and interact with nature, inspiring them to discover new ways of living as they learn from the natural world. Kid hosts Ava and Ari help kids understand the importance of each part of the complex ecosystems throughout the natural world.
ClearWaterKids Challenge wants to empower kids to tap into their natural curiosity and learn all about how to become more environmentally conscious, through fun, easy-to-adopt habits and projects that can be done right from the comfort of their homes. Kids are invited to “think like nature” and be more mindful about the ways in which their actions can impact the environment.
An important aspect of ClearWaterKids Challenge is that viewers are taught positive and fun solutions, rather than having the episodes focus on negative messaging and what they might be doing ‘wrong’, as this may discourage youngsters from feeling like they can contribute to global health and environmental wellbeing.
This helps keep the focus on the importance and wonder of the environment, while helping kids form a cooperative relationship with nature, and learn from it.
Jennifer McCann, VP Kids & Family at Shaftesbury, says,
“Change begets change. When young viewers are exposed to the contributions that others like them are making, it ignites a whole new group of changemakers to roll up their sleeves and play a role in protecting the planet. Even if their contributions are small, they are always mighty. ClearWaterKids Challenge emphasizes a hopeful, fun, and creative way of helping kids cultivate a more mindful, sustainable lifestyle.”
On the production side, there is a focus on maintaining and expressing the values and guiding principles that the farm operates under. Communicating the ideas of deep respect for nature, and the cyclical patterns of life were a way for the series to exemplify these ideals.
- No plastic bottles were allowed on set during the production of season 2; cast and crew were asked to bring their own reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.
- During season 2 production, a local caterer was hired when filming at ClearWater Farm, supporting the local community and reducing carbon emissions. While filming in the city for season 2, a green caterer was hired and the menu was primarily vegetarian. The same caterer was hired for season 3 – which was filmed during the pandemic – due to their safety protocols and green practices.
- Producers tried to minimize prop purchases by choosing locations with pre-existing props and crew bringing some props from home. Any props that were purchased were either given to cast and crew or donated. The cast also got to keep the clothing from the shoot so it would be reused.
- All scripts were sent to cast and crew electronically, and only printed for those who needed/requested scripts.
- Crew members were encouraged to carpool during production to reduce carbon emissions.
ClearWaterKids Challenge was filmed on a real-life working farm (ClearWater Farm) that works closely with the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation. The relationship is symbolized by the 200+ year old maple tree overlooking the lake where settlers and First Nations gathered to trade.
Producers want to leave kids with this message: one of the most important things you can do is get outside and into nature! Build a relationship with it and realize and understand that everything is connected. Even saying “get out into nature” means we think of nature as separate from us, but let’s fix that! When you build a relationship with the natural world, your awareness and understanding of the power of sustainability and positive change will grow and grow and grow!
Watch ClearWaterKids Challenge on the Shaftesbury Kids YouTube Channel and Kidoodle.tv.
Special thanks to the Ontario Water Centre and ClearWater Farm.