Youth and Ecological Restoration Program

Helping vulnerable youth build healthy community relationships with both the human and natural worlds.

Through restoring local watersheds with community members,
youth gain a sense of worth, belonging and place.

YER Provides youth aged twelve to eighteen with one-on-one work experience, training and support. Through ecological restoration work youth learn social, communication and community building skills that will support them in becoming confident, respectful and productive members of our society.

Wendy Kotilla created YER based on experiences from her own youth when she was constantly outdoors, surrounded by the healing powers of nature.  She has a Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma from University of Victoria, and Negotiation and Mediation Certificates from the Justice Institute of BC.  Her experience includes over twenty years in the fields of both Ecological Restoration and Restorative Justice.

View our 10-Year Review






Join us for the third Youth and Ecological Restoration Program (YER) tours at 3300 Fraser Road on August 24, 2012 at 11:30 am.  Millard Piercy Watershed Stewards (MPWS) restored a stream channel on Millard Creek to enhance fisheries habitat.  MPWS is partnering with...

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Cooperation, Support and Compassion; Positive Role Models and Mentoring; Increased Community Capacity and Caring

"This program helped me to be a citizen, helped me to work with the community. It was a good experience for me. I loved helping the community and it’s something I’ll never forget. I hope I can give the knowledge to other people."



Data Collection Methods; Working with Tools; Worksite Safety; Job Variety; Good Work Ethics

"Skills and experience I gained that I can add to my job resume are: teamwork, communication skills, knowing that I will do the best I can no matter how hard it is going to be and not giving up."



Ecosystem Cycles and Interconnections; Identification Techniques for Plants, Animals and Fish; Understanding Environmental Impacts

"Trees depend on the fish and the fish depend on the trees. It’s all a circle, an ecosystem. Fish help the trees with nutrients, the trees grow big and it helps the fish because they give them shade and it keeps the water from heating up."



Meaningful Participation and Empowerment; Commitment, Respect and Responsibility; Patience and Endurance; Accomplishment, Self-confidence and Success

"I found this experience rewarding in the sense that I feel I have been helpful and gained confidence and also can do anything I set my mind to. I feel like a leader in my community."



Public Speaking and Leadership; Active Listening and Engagement; Interpersonal Relationships

"I think that it is something you feel good about because you are giving back to your community and it feels good.  The presentation gives you confidence because when a group of people respond in a positive way it gives you courage and confidence."


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Youth work with community members to restore the health of our local watersheds, building healthy relationships with both the human and natural worlds. They are required to give oral presentations about their YER experience on completion of the program. Community Partnerships have increased to 136 (from July 2004 to August 2014).




Ten groups referred youth from July 2004 to March 2014:


Thirty groups had youth conduct ecological restoration work from July 2004 to March 2014:


 Ninety-Six community groups had youth give presentations from July 2004 to March 2014:

  • Airport Elementary School, Grade 1
  • Airport Elementary School, Grade 2/3
  • Arden Park Elementary School, Kindergarten
  • Arden Park Elementary School, Grade 1
  • Arden Park Elementary School, Grade 4
  • Arden Park Elementary School, Grade 6
  • Aspen Park Elementary School, Grade 2
  • Aspen Park Elementary School, Grade 3
  • Aspen Park Elementary School, Grade 4
  • Aspen Park Elementary School, Grade 7
  • Berwick Retirement Society -
  • Brooklyn Elementary, Grade 5
  • Casa Loma Seniors Village –
  • Comox Rotary Club -
  • Comox Valley Aboriginal Head Start Program, Pre-School Group
  • Comox Valley Boys and Girls Club, Voices Choices Group -
  • Comox Valley Community Justice Centre -
  • Comox Valley Land Trust, Annual General Meeting -
  • Comox Valley Land Trust, Board Meeting -
  • Comox Valley Natural History Society -
  • Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling
  • Comox Valley Project Watershed Society -
  • Comox Valley Watershed Assembly
  • Comox Valley Women’s Resource Society
  • Comox Valley Youth for Christ -
  • Comox Valley Youth Resource Society
  • Courtenay & District Fish & Game Protective Association -
  • Courtenay Elementary School, Grade 2/3
  • Courtenay Elementary School, Grade 3/4
  • Courtenay Elementary School, Grade 5/6
  • Courtenay Middle School, Grade 8
  • Cumberland Elementary School, Grade 2
  • Cumberland Elementary School, Grade 4/5
  • Cumberland Elementary School, Grade 5/6
  • Cumberland Junior School
  • Cumberland Lodge
  • Creekside Commons -
  • Cumberland Rotary Club -
  • Cummings House
  • Earth Day Festival
  • Ecole Aspen Park Middle School
  • Eureka Clubhouse
  • Fanny Bay Enhancement Society -
  • Fanny Bay Old Age Pensioners, Seniors Craft Group
  • Glacier View Lodge Society -
  • Glacier View School, Brideway Program
  • Glacier View School, Independent Learning Program
  • Glacier View School, Key Program
  • Glacier View School, Senior Alternate Program
  • Island Early Education Centre, After School Group
  • John Howard Society, Staff Meeting -
  • Kidzone Daycare
  • Kiwanis Club of Courtenay  -
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Grade 8
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Grade 9
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Pride Program
  • Lewis Centre, Youth Program, Day Camp -
  • Lighthouse Early Learning Centre -
  • Linc Youth Centre, Action Committee
  • Linc Youth Centre, Youth Council
  • Merry Andrew Day Care
  • Millard Piercy Watershed Stewards
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development, Mental Health Team
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development, Over Twelve Team
  • Ministry of Children and Family Development, Probation
  • Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, AGM -
  • Nala’atsi Alternate School
  • North Island College, Human Service Worker Program
  • North Island College, Human Services Articulation Conference
  • Oyster River Enhancement Society -
  • Puddleduck Daycare
  • Pumpkin Patch Daycare
  • Puntledge Park Elementary School, Grade 4
  • Puntledge Park Elementary School, Kindergarten
  • Queneesh Elementary School, Earth Day Celebration
  • Queneesh Elementary School, Kindergarten to Grade 4
  • Roseberry Pre-School
  • Royston Elementary School, Grade 7
  • St. Josephs Hospital, Adolescent Support Group
  • St. Josephs Hospital, Residential Care Facility
  • St. Josephs Hospital, Transition Ward
  • Saltwater Waldorf School
  • Scouts Canada, First Comox Scout Troup
  • Scouts Canada, First Tsolum Cubs Group
  • Stevenson Place (Seniors Independent Living) -
  • Tsolum River Restoration Society -
  • Vanier Senior Secondary School, Counseling Group
  • Vanier Senior Secondary School, Grade 8 English
  • Vanier Senior Secondary School, Grade 8 Science
  • Wachiay Friendship Centre, Elders Lunch -
  • Wachiay Friendship Centre, Raven Back Youth Group -
  • Youth and Ecological Restoration Program, Annual Community Celebration