About Us


Mark Yearwood Founder & Executive Director

Mark has 15 years of volunteer experience in the areas of children's health and mentoring at both Sick Kids hospital and Big Brothers. A writer on the health and well-being of children, his work has appeared in the Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, and Children and Nature Network.

Mark first fell in love with the outdoors as a boy exploring the woods near home and following the neighbourhood creek, just to see where it would go! 

He has been hiking in the beauty and wonder of the Rouge Valley for over 20 years, enjoying all that nature offers, rain, shine, or snow! 

Mark holds a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law school and a Bachelor's degree from Western University. 

Mark is also an engaging, effective and informative public speaker on issues relating to the importance of time in nature for children and adults. Including the need for diversity in all green spaces.

He has presented in front of audiences for a wide range of organizations including, Toronto District School Board, Ontario Science Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto and Markham Public Libraries. 
He is available for public speaking opportunities. Please contact info@kidsinthewoodsinitiative.org with “Speaker Request” in the Subject line.



discovery from the outside in

Our Mission, Vision & Values


K.I.W.I. is a non-profit organization dedicated to reconnecting children and youth to nature through adventure-play and mentoring in natural & wild outdoor spaces.

K.I.W.I. programs will address the entire child, with a view to having a positive impact, physically, emotionally, and developmentally through the benefits flowing from nature-based play & mentoring in natural & wild spaces.  Through the delivery of programs that provide safe and fun adventures within Rouge Park, children will learn about themselves, their peers, and the environment around them in a journey of "discovery from the outside in".  


The K.I.W.I. vision is that natural & wild outdoor environments should be accessible to and enjoyed by all children and youth.

That all children and youth, through exposure to natural & wild spaces, will grow up with a personal and intimate connection to nature and will become adults who will continue to enjoy nature and pass that love and interest on to the children in their lives. 

That all children exposed to play in natural & wild outdoor spaces will become champions of nature-play in their families, neighborhoods, and schools.

That K.I.W.I. programming will allow children and youth to develop genuine self-confidence and compassion for all things and all people.

That through K.I.W.I. programming, children and youth will be helped on their journey to develop their most authentic selves.


Honour, Integrity, Generosity, Honesty, Excellence, Respect (H.I.G.H.E.R.)


Health, Fitness & Wellness



Lifelong Learning


Illustrations on this page by Myles Yearwood

©{2021} Kids In the Woods Initiative--K.I.W.I. -discovery from the outside in™, All rights reserved