Roy Jantzen. Photo: Lee Halliday

Roy Jantzen can hardly be accused of living in an ivory tower. Despite a long-time career as a Capilano University instructor, Roy is nothing if not firmly grounded in the real—as in natural—world.

“I love a temperate forest environment, an ocean environment, an alpine environment,” says Roy. It’s this passion for the natural world that he brings every day to his students at Capilano University, where he’s an instructor of Natural History, Ecotourism and Environmental Stewardship in the Faculty of Global and Community Studies.

It’s this same passion that he’ll share with the community at large on March 22 when he presents “Active Vancouver: Exploring Outdoor Recreation in the City’s Natural Environments.” Part of the Capilano Universe 2016 free public lecture series and based on Roy’s new book, the talk will feature some of his top picks for local outdoor springtime adventures.

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Trail runner at Burnaby Lake. Photo: Roy Jantzen.

“Connecting people to the natural world—that’s what I’ve done for years with students,” says Roy. “I’ve tried to link them to what’s happening in the world around them.” Citing a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study that shows that people spend, on average, only two per cent of their time outdoors, he laments the miniscule role that nature plays in most people’s daily lives. “Nature increases our mental performance, decreases our stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate and helps us concentrate.”

Paying it forward

Roy credits his parents with stoking his love of the outdoors. As a child, his interests tended toward adrenaline-pumping activities. Today, he’s more keen on what he calls “soft adventure”—and on paying forward the appreciation of nature that his parents instilled in him.

As an instructor, he does this every day. Through his March 22 lecture, he hopes to encourage others to do the same. Part of Roy’s talk will focus on deciding “who to bring,” which he sees as an integral aspect of any recreational outing: “I’d like to have people think about teenagers and children in their world who might not get out into the outdoors quite as much.”

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Quarry Rock hike along the Baden Powell trail. Photo: Lori Geosits.

Topping the list

Topping Roy’s suggestions for al fresco activities this spring are the 11-kilometre trail around Burnaby Lake (complete with beaver, waterfowl and resident frogs), a 3.5-kilometre hike up North Vancouver’s Quarry Rock to a stunning southeast-facing viewpoint, and a free cable-ferry trip to a picnic area and biking/walking loop on Barnston Island—a rural “hidden gem” in the middle of the Fraser River.

Submitted by Communications & Marketing

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Roy’s free Capilano Universe lecture, “Active Vancouver: Exploring Outdoor Recreation in the City’s Natural Environment,” takes place Tuesday, March 22 from 7 to 8:45 p.m. at the Bob Prittie Metrotown Branch of the Burnaby Public Library, 6100 Willingdon Avenue.

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