Ontario Nature Blog

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Category: Nature Guardians Youth Program (Page 1 of 2)

To Bee or not to Bee: Stratford’s Ethan Elliott Brings Bee City Home

Ethan Elliott

Ethan Elliot— a student and member of Ontario Nature’s Youth Council, has a knack for making things happen. It is no surprise that he has been able to convince his hometown of Stratford to become Ontario’s second Bee City.

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3 take-aways on neonics and pollinators

Virescent_Metallic_Green_Bee__BlackeyedSusan_Leslie_Bol-3_banner

Photo credit: Virescent green metallic bee/Leslie Bol

On April 19, I woke up early, and braved the busy highways of the GTA to get to a very important conference. The International Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, a group comprising 53 scientists from around the world, all working to study the environmental and health impacts of systemic pesticides, were presenting their research at York University.

Having been involved with the Ontario Nature Youth Council’s pollinator campaign, I was keen to learn about the issues of pesticide induced pollinator decline from this conference. Here are three things I learned at the symposium that I’d like to share.

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Our Special Spaces – Acting Now for Pollinators

Credit: Daynan Lepore

Credit: Daynan Lepore

Slacktivism is defined as “actions performed via the Internet in support of a social, political or environmental cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement.”

Sound familiar? I admit – I’ve been guilty of slacktivism.

In the digital era, when activism can often be reduced to a simple click of a mouse, Ontario Nature’s Youth Council seeks to put the ‘act’ back into activism with their 2016 Our Special Spaces events. These youth aren’t satisfied with simply signing petitions or ‘liking’ a Facebook page – they’re initiating change.

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Tomorrow’s Environmental Leaders

Credit: Brendan Toews

Credit: Brendan Toews

When I was in high school, I had a teacher who was very environmentally conscious and encouraged my green side. I went to high school in the early 1970’s when general interest in the environment was low. We didn’t get to do fun things like plant trees or conduct cleanups. Instead, we encouraged students to bring in their cans and bottles for recycling, as there was no such thing as a blue box then.

My experience with that teacher was transformational. I completed the Environmental Studies program at the University of Waterloo. Thirty five years later I am still working and volunteering in the environmental field.

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Empowering Ontario’s young leaders

Held annually in September since 2010, the Youth Summit for Biodiversity is a weekend-long event that engages 100 young leaders from dozens of communities across the province. Planned and hosted by Ontario Nature’s Youth Council, it is a highlight of our Nature Guardians Youth Program. Hear directly from youth participants about how they were inspired.

Save the date for the 2016 Youth Summit on September 23-25, 2016.

Visit http://www.ontarionature.org/youthsummit to learn more.

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