I was raised in the bush in northwestern Ontario. I spend a lot of my time reminding my environmental colleagues how that's going to go over in the north if they say it the way they are saying it.
I have a foot in both camps, and I am aware of this cultural divide you're talking about. Just how you overcome it, I am not sure. What it does require, rather than blaming each side and saying inflammatory things, is to try to calmly explain to people that this is the life experience these folks have. Try to explain to people in the north why the people in the city think the way they do, and explain to the people in the city why the folks in the north or the rural or coastal parts of our country think the way they do. It is a great diverse country that we've got, but that can also be divisive.
Things like the Rouge Park that is about to move ahead in the greater Toronto area does represent a terrific opportunity to get students out, at least for a day hike, and get a little sense of what we are talking about.