For Joshua Hanneson, the importance of conservation was planted in his mind at a young age. Whether it was going camping with his family, planting trees with his fellow Scouts or simply hiking outdoors – protecting the environment was always in his heart.

Joshua lives in south Mississauga and frequently visits Rattray Marsh Conservation Area. He recently created a comprehensive guide of plants at Rattray Marsh, which in part earned him the Chief Scout’s Award.

Plant guide
Josh hand drew a detailed legend for his Rattray Marsh plant guide.

CVC is committed to supporting young conservationists. After receiving Joshua’s plant guide, we were eager to learn more about this young leader. We asked Joshua a few questions about his interests and time spent volunteering. Here’s what we learned:

How did you become interested in volunteering? 

Volunteering is simply a nice thing to do. I get to help others and it’s a good use of my time. The Scouts participate in the Rattray Marsh Cleanup every year and it’s always amazing to see what things we find in the creek, from fire extinguishers to tires… one time we even found a mini fridge!

What is your favourite subject at school? 

I am in a music program at a school that specialises in the arts, so I do enjoy music a lot. I also like science because it’s fascinating to discover how things work.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

This is a tough question. I would like to be a fiction author but maybe not as a full time job. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy science, so I may plan on pursuing a career in this field.

What made you want to create the Rattray guide? Why Rattray Marsh? 

The plant guide was for a portion of my Chief Scout’s award. Rattray marsh is a nice place to go for a hike with my family and holds a lot of memories. I learned a lot about plants and wanted to share my knowledge with others so they can have the same experience. Through this project I have tested and improved my knowledge of the outdoors.

What do you hope for the future of Rattray Marsh?

I hope that Rattray Marsh will continue to be a nice place for people to enjoy nature. Maybe my plant guide can help people appreciate the wide variety of plant life you can discover there.

Young volunteers like Joshua are vital to the success of CVC’s conservation projects. Check out CVC’s volunteer page to learn more about volunteering. Joshua’s Rattray Marsh plant guide is available online.

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