Volunteer with Us
Our Conservation Youth Corps (CYC) program provides a fun four-day outdoor environmental program for teens. Participants tackle environmental stewardship projects at different sites in their community and at our conservation areas.
Volunteers will be supervised and mentored by CVC staff during the planned activities. Each day brings a new experience. The program runs for eight weeks during the summer.
How to Get Involved
Registration for the 2021 CYC program is now closed. Check back in March 2022 to register for next summer.
Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Stewardship project locations change each day. By registering, you are confirming that you are able to get to and from each location in your block of volunteer days on your own (walk, ride a bike, get a ride, or take public transit).
Participate in the mandatory training on the Wednesday before your volunteer days.
What: A mandatory virtual training session will give you the guidance you need to participate in the events. There are two parts to the training: the first part is a live, interactive workshop with CVC staff. The second part is an online training for Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) that you complete on your own.
Duration: 3.5 hours (approximately 10 – 11:30 a.m. for the workshop, and 2 hours for the self-directed AODA training).
Who: Youth participating in the program and CVC staff.
Topics Covered: Health and safety for stewardship events, how to prepare for the events, and a presentation covering local nature and wildlife, issues affecting environmental health such as climate change, how to take action and more!
Registration: You must attend the mandatory training on the Wednesday before their scheduled volunteer days. We will send you a link for the workshop and AODA training a few days before.
Complete online AODA training at home. This will take approximately 2 hours to complete.
What: Three hands-on stewardship projects led by CVC staff. Typically, CYC volunteers will work on a different project each day. Potential projects may include invasive species removal, maintenance of low impact development sites, taking care of past planting sites, trail maintenance, stream restoration, environmental monitoring and data collection of plants and animals and habitat construction.
Where: Meet your CVC Crew Leaders onsite on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at locations outlined when you registered. Each day will start and end at the same location, unless otherwise noted when you register.
Who: Youth participating in the program and CVC staff.
Start and End Times: Each day starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m., unless otherwise noted when you register.
- Wednesday: Meet your CVC Crew Leaders online for a mandatory online training. They will help prepare you for your in-person volunteer days and answer any questions you may have. You will also be required to complete an online training for AODA on your own.
- Thursday and Friday: Meet your CVC Crew Leaders at a local stewardship location in your community. You will help tackle a different environmental stewardship project each day.
- Saturday: Meet your CVC Crew Leader at one of CVC’s conservation areas, which are normally north of Mississauga and Brampton and not accessible by public transit. Please be sure you can arrange a ride to/from the sites when you register. You will help tackle a different environmental stewardship project on this day too.
COVID-19 Safety: Volunteers are expected to follow COVID-19 guidelines at all times.
- The program is designed to give high school aged youth an opportunity to connect with nature and take part in environmental activities.
- Earn up to 21 hours of community involvement towards required hours for graduation.
- Participants must be between of the ages of 14 and 18, completed grade 8 and are returning to high school in the fall. Participants must also live or go to school in the Credit River Watershed.
- Participants can register for one week during the summer on a first come, first served basis.
- The CYC program is free thanks to generous support of funders.
- Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from event sites.
- The program runs rain or shine, with exception of severe weather.
- Physical distancing and COVID-19 protocol will take place onsite at each event to ensure participant and staff safety.
- The wellbeing of our participants and staff is our top priority. Participants are required to follow COVID-19 best practices and safety protocols.
- Stay home if you are feeling sick, if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive or are under self-quarantine.
- Practice physical distancing and best hygiene practices to ensure compliance with local and provincial COVID-19 guidelines. We will do everything we can to ensure participants maintain physical distancing at our events. If this is not possible, staff and participants will be asked to wear a safety mask.
- Bring your own mask. Bring an extra mask in case yours gets damp or dirty.
- Bring your own litterless snacks and lunch, and a full refillable.
- Bring sunscreen and bug spray (we also have extra).
- Bring your own work gloves (we have gloves if you don’t have work/garden type gloves).
- Wear long pants, socks to cover your ankles, closed-toe shoes or boots, and a t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt (no tank tops or cut-off shirts).
- Dress for the weather. Wear a hat and sunglasses, bring rain gear. The program runs rain or shine unless there is thunder or lightning.
- Activity equipment and supplies, such as shovels will be provided. You can also bring your own shovel.
- We’re following provincial and local guidelines for outdoor gatherings.
- There will be a maximum of 25 participants, including staff, at the event.
- Acknowledge you have read the Youth Waiver and bring a copy signed by a parent/guardian (no digital signatures) in order to participate in the event.
- Online registration and COVID-19 pre-screening are required for all CVC events. You must complete the online self-screening 24 hours before the event and when you first arrive at the event.
- Participants will receive notification if events change or are cancelled due to COVID-19/pandemic related restrictions.
Our youth programs are generously supported by the Region of Peel and a variety of partners through fundraising efforts of the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation.
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