Christmas came early for the local Conservation Youth Corps. Shell Canada awarded a grant of $100,000 as part of its FuellingChange program. The grant will be used to enhance the Conservation Youth Corps (CYC) program and provide local youth with leading-edge educational tools.

“We are absolutely thrilled with this announcement and with what it means for youth engagement,” said Jim Muscat, Chair of the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation. “We are deeply grateful to Shell Canada for its commitment to the local environment and environmental education.”

CYC is one of two environmental initiatives to receive a $100,000 grant in the latest round of the FuellingChange program, which is based on votes from Shell customers nation-wide. The other $100,000 grant winner is Clean Nova Scotia. CYC was almost bumped out of the winning position near the end of contest, but a strong rally from Shell customers in support of CYC secured the win.

“It was a real nail-biter,” said Shawn Verge, CYC Program Coordinator. “We had to pull out all the stops near the end to get more people to vote for us. In the end, we just clinched the grant, which came as a big relief to our entire team.”

The Conservation Youth Corps is a program of Credit Valley Conservation and Credit Valley Conservation Foundation focused on youth engagement. Each summer hundreds of students from across the Credit River watershed (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and Orangeville) earn their community volunteer hours outdoors by planting trees, tending community gardens, monitoring the local environment and other tasks.

“Many of the youth we work with rarely get a chance to get out of the city. Most of their recreation is in the city and so much of their time is spent in front of a computer screen” said Verge. “CYC opens the door and gives them an opportunity to get outside and learn about their local environment.”

Richard Louv, in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, coined the phrase ‘nature deficit disorder’, describing how people, especially children, are spending less time outdoors. Louv describes how this can lead to certain behavioural problems in children. He notes that children have an instinctive love for nature, but their access is more and more limited due to parental fears over safety, less access to natural areas and the ever present lure of the screen.

“I’m always amazed to see local kids completely awestruck when they’re out in nature. It’s a whole new world to them and the experience can be quite transformative.” said Verge. “We are excited about what this grant means for the future of the Conservation Youth Corps.”

“We are encouraged that Shell customers across Canada voted for our project,” said Terri LeRoux, Executive Director, Credit Valley Conservation Foundation.

On the heels of the grant announcement, Credit Valley Conservation Foundation re-enrolled in the FuellingChange program, aiming to secure a $50,000 grant for the Credit River Clean Water Campaign. The campaign focuses on installing low impact development (LID) features such as community rain gardens and stormwater infiltration systems throughout the Credit River watershed. LID features improve water quality and help reduce damaging floods from storm events.

“We strongly encourage our supporters to make their next fuel purchase at Shell, participate in the FuellingChange program online and vote for the Credit River Clean Water Campaign,” noted LeRoux.

The FuellingChange program allows Canadians to vote on environmental programs that help improve, protect and restore air, land and water. To participate in the Shell FuellingChange program make a purchase at Shell, save your receipt and visit www.fuellingchange.com to register for your free account. Redeem the code on the receipt for votes that can be assigned to the project of your choice. Each additional purchase at Shell entitles you to more votes. Voting for the Credit River Clean Water Campaign will directly benefit the natural environment in the Credit River watershed (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon and Orangeville).

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Credit Valley Conservation Foundation is a registered environmental charity that raises funds in support of the conservation projects of Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). Conservation Authorities are a provincial/municipal partnership. CVC was established by an act of the province in 1954 with a mandate to protect all natural resources other than minerals in the area drained by the Credit River. We have been working for almost 60 years with our partner municipalities and stakeholders to protect and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed for present and future generations.

Media Contact
Jon MacMull
Communications Specialist
Credit Valley Conservation
905-670-1615 ext. 385
[email protected]

Information Contact
Terri LeRoux
Executive Director
Credit Valley Conservation Foundation
905-670-1615 ext 424
[email protected]

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