Volunteer with Us
Our Conservation Youth Corps (CYC) program provides a fun five-day outdoor environmental program for teens. Participants tackle environmental stewardship projects at different sites in their community, our conservation areas and across the watershed.
Volunteers are supervised and mentored by CVC staff during planned activities. Each day brings a new experience. The program runs for eight weeks during the summer.
How to Get Involved
Registration is on a first come basis. Select a pick-up/drop-off location (e.g., a local school) and week to volunteer based on your schedule and ability to get to these locations.
Stewardship project locations change each day. CVC staff will pick you and other youth volunteers up in a CVC vehicle and bring you to the project site. By registering, you are confirming that you commit to volunteering for that week.
Please note: the program runs for eight weeks in the summer, except for the week of August 1st. Please only register for the week(s) you’re available and plan to attend so other youth from the watershed can take part.
Before attending the first day of your CYC volunteer week, you must complete Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) training. You will complete the AODA training online at home. This will take approximately two hours to complete and you will earn volunteer hours for this training. Instructions on how to complete this training will be sent to you once you have registered.
Once completed, you will need to send us a certificate of completion.
What: Youth will help with hands-on stewardship projects led by CVC staff. Typically, CYC volunteers 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, planting wildflowers, trail maintenance, stream restoration, electrofishing, environmental monitoring and data collection of plants and animals and habitat construction.
Where: Meet your CVC Crew Leaders at a local high school Monday to Friday (selected when you register) between 8-8:30 a.m. CVC Crew Leaders will drive you to the worksite to complete the project. At the end of the day, CVC staff will drop you back at the same location around 3 p.m.
Who: Youth participating in the program, CVC staff and other community and project partners.
Start and End Times: Each day starts around 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m., unless otherwise noted closer to each volunteer day.
- Monday: Your CVC Crew Leaders will bring you to Terra Cotta Conservation Area and host a training and orientation in the morning to prepare you for your week of volunteering. CVC staff will answer questions you may have. You will take part in a short project in the afternoon. You will be required to complete the online training for AODA prior to your first day, so don’t forget to bring your certificate of completion if you haven’t already sent it to us.
- Tuesday to Friday: Your CVC Crew Leaders will bring you to different local stewardship locations in your community (e.g. Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon, Georgetown or Orangeville) or one of CVC’s conservation areas.
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.
- Participants must between the ages of 14 and 18, completed grade 8 and are returning to high school in the fall.
- Youth can earn up to 35 volunteer hours by participating.
- Participants can register for one week during the summer on a first come basis. Please only register for the week(s) you are available and plan to attend so as many youth from the watershed can take part.
- The CYC program is free thanks to generous support of funders and is offered to youth within the Credit River Watershed.
- Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the pick-up/drop-off locations.
- The program runs rain or shine, with exception of severe weather.
- Participants are expected to follow CVC’s Code of Conduct policies at all times to ensure all participants have the greatest individual experience during the program.
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 in compliance with local and provincial 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 face mask.
- Bring your own snacks and lunch and water.
- Bring your own mask and gloves. We have extra supplies.
- Equipment and supplies, such as shovels, will be provided.
- Dress for the weather and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes or boots.
- We’re following provincial and local guidelines for outdoor gatherings. There will be a maximum of 30 participants, including staff, at each volunteer day.
- You must acknowledge and read all CVC waivers and forms.
- You must also submit a waiver form signed by a parent/guardian (no digital signatures) in order to participate in the program and complete your registration.
- 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.
- You 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.