Youth Make a Difference in the Watershed

Seven people standing outside posing for a picture.

Save the Environment, Make Friends

It takes a community to protect a watershed and within that community is a dedicated group of youth volunteers. For more than 15 years, we’ve been offering high school students the opportunity to earn volunteer hours while connecting with nature and helping the environment through two programs.

  • Conservation Youth Corps (CYC), which runs during the summer and is a five-day outdoor environmental program for teens.
  • Frontline, which runs during the school year and offers workshops for participants approximately once per month in September through May.
Nine people wearing hip waders and standing in a river, smiling for the camera.
We often partner with other organizations, like Ontario Streams. Youth help with stream restoration in the Credit River.

There’s never a wrong time to thank our youth stewards and celebrate their accomplishments over the last 15 years. Here are some highlights:

  • 16,821 volunteers have contributed more than 75,072 volunteer hours – that’s equivalent to watching the entire Star Wars series over 3,000 times!
  • Planted 32,028 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers.
  • Removed invasive plants from 121,701 square metres of land.
  • Completed work on over 160 properties.
  • Frontline received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Trust Award for Youth Achievement in 2016 and 2021.
12 people standing outside holding pieces of paper.
26 of our Frontline youth earned an EcoAmbassador Award and were presented with the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement for their accomplishments in 2021.

Students discover nature through a variety of stewardship projects in the Credit River Watershed. The wide selection of learning opportunities is a great way to explore their interests and help inspire learning paths during post-secondary education. These restoration and stewardship projects include:

  • Boardwalk construction
  • Ecosystem monitoring
  • Electrofishing
  • Habitat construction
  • Invasive species management
  • Low impact development maintenance
  • Native tree, shrub and wildflower planting and tending
  • Organic gardening
  • Pollinator garden maintenance
  • Shoreline clean-ups and litter pick-ups
  • Stream restoration

Whether it’s to earn volunteer hours, connect with peers, build your resume or network with environmental professionals, the benefits to giving back to the environment are endless. Our youth programs are popular. If you’re interested in a program but it’s full, we encourage you to join our waitlist so you can be notified if space becomes available.

It’s never too late to get involved in the Credit River Watershed. Are you interested in volunteering with us? Registration for our Conservation Youth Program is now open.

By Kimberley Laird, Associate, Marketing and Communications

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