Youth and Ecological Restoration

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.

YERI

YERI is a 20-hour program providing one-on-one work experience, training and support for youth aged twelve to eighteen who are experiencing challenges connecting with school, community and employment.

Youth work with community members to restore the environmental health of local watersheds. Worksite transportation, homemade lunch, work tools and wet weather gear are all supplied.

Ecological restoration activities include salmon enhancement, habitat restoration, watershed assessment and monitoring, and community environmental education. Youth gain employment experience, build personal confidence, and improve communication and life skills, while learning about local watersheds and ecosystems.

YERI can be used to fulfill school work experience programs and complete community service hours. On completion, each youth gives an oral presentation for a community group about their experience. Youth are awarded with a YERI certificate, sticker and crest; a letter of reference; and receive fifty dollars.

YERI – 318 youth from 2004 to 2017

YERII

YERII entry requirement is that youth have graduated from YERI, and they are genuinely motivated to build on skills gained in the original program. Two YERI graduates, the YER coordinator and an environmental professional all work together to further instill teamwork and cooperation practices.

The focus is on a specific environmental project for advanced learning about ecological information, research techniques, and collaboration and communication skills. Examples of YERII projects include: radio tracking summer chinook salmon in the Puntledge River; conducting salmon population estimates in Millard Creek rearing channel; mapping the Oyster River side channel; performing ecological inventories in Comox Valley Regional District parks; and establishing surface and groundwater monitoring stations in the headwaters of Millard Creek.

YERII completion involves two youth guiding a public tour of the project site. On conclusion the youth achieve a YERII personal photo certificate; YER hooded jacket; a letter of reference for their specific work project; and fifty dollars.

YERII – 41 youth from 2007 to 2017

YERIII

YERIII is more advanced with an increased teaching responsibility. The initial YERIII project occurred in 2015 with Comox Valley Project Watershed Society to restore salt marsh grass ecosystems in the K’omoks Estuary.

One youth was trained in salt marsh grass ecosystems and restoration methods, and then helped teach planting techniques to four groups of one hundred and forty Royston Elementary School children.

On completion of YERIII, the youth gave Project Watershed, Estuary Working Group a power point presentation about the employment experience. A higher payment of two hundred dollars; a personalized certificate and custom letter of reference are awarded on completion.

YERIII – 1 youth from 2015 to 2017

Program History

YER was originally funded in July 2004 through Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children. The guiding principles recognized that each community has unique characteristics, knowledge and experience to address prevention and early intervention for vulnerable youth. Criteria included providing integrated and collaborative services that support community capacity to build healthy relationships. YER is considered one of their most successful projects.

From April 2006 to the present time YERI has been funded by the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. Many youth participants asked to repeat the program, so there was a need to develop an extension. In 2007 YER preliminary funding came from the Vancouver Foundation. YERII provides youth with an opportunity to build on the skills and experiences they gained in YERI.  YERIII places youth in mentoring positions where they teach and involve younger children with environmental work

 

Community Partnerships

YER continues to build community partnerships, creating a cornerstone for the program and its youth participants. These partnerships have been instrumental in developing a solid foundation of support for YER within the Comox Valley community, as well as building bridges, alliances and awareness between local groups and individuals. YER services have now benefited 146 community groups including youth referral agencies, environmental stewardship organizations, service clubs and School District #71 classes and students.

Youth work with community members to restore the health of local watersheds. Each youth works with about four environmental groups and are required to do an oral presentation about their YER experience on completion of the program. As community partnerships are created the number of alliances with YER from 2004 to 2018 has expanded to include 146 groups.*

*Click on the tab title to open and view.

Ten groups referred youth from July 2004 to March 2014:

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

One hundred and six community groups had youth presentations from July 2004 to March 2017:

  • 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 www.berwickrc.com/comox
  • Brooklyn Elementary, Grade 5
  • Casa Loma Seniors Village www.retirementconcepts.com/homes/comox-valley
  • Comox Rotary Club www.comoxrotary.bc.ca
  • Comox Valley Aboriginal Head Start Program, Pre-School Group
  • Comox Valley Boys and Girls Club, Adventure Club www.cvboysandgirlsclub.ca
  • Comox Valley Boys and Girls Club, Voices Choices Group www.cvboysandgirlsclub.ca
  • Comox Valley Community Justice Centre www.cjc-comoxvalley.com
  • Comox Valley Land Trust, Annual General Meeting www.cvlandtrust.org
  • Comox Valley Land Trust, Board Meeting www.cvlandtrust.org
  • Comox Valley Natural History Society www.comoxvalleynaturalist.bc.ca
  • Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling
  • Comox Valley Project Watershed Society www.projectwatershed.bc.ca
  • Comox Valley Regional District, Community Services Branch
  • Comox Valley Watershed Assembly
  • Comox Valley Women’s Resource Society
  • Comox Valley Youth for Christ www.comoxvalley.yfccanada.org
  • Comox Valley Youth Resource Society
  • Courtenay & District Fish & Game Protective Association www.courtenayfishandgame.org
  • Courtenay Elementary School, Kindergarden
  • Courtenay Elementary School, Grade 2/3
  • Courtenay Elementary School, Grade 3/4
  • Courtenay Elementary School, Grade 5/6
  • Cumberland Elementary School, Grade 5/6
  • Creekside Commons www.creeksidecommons.ca
  • Cumberland Community School, Grade 1/2
  • Cumberland Community School, Grade 4/5
  • Cumberland Community School, Grade 5/6
  • Cumberland Community School, Grade 8
  • Cumberland Junior School
  • Cumberland Lodge
  • Cumberland Rotary Club www.rotarycc.org
  • Cummings Home, Seniors Assisted Living Facility
  • Earth Day Festival
  • Eureka Support Society and Clubhouse
  • Fanny Bay Enhancement Society www.fbses.ca
  • Fanny Bay Old Age Pensioners, Seniors Craft Group
  • Glacier View Lodge Society www.glacierviewlodge.ca
  • 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 www.jhsni.bc.ca/
  • Kidzone Daycare
  • Kiwanis Club of Courtenay www.facebook.com/pages/Kiwanis-Club-of-Courtenay-BC
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Grade 8
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Grade 9
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Pride Program
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Humanities Program
  • Lake Trail Middle School, Youth and Family Support
  • Lewis Centre, Youth Program, Day Camp www.courtenay.ca/recreation/programs.aspx
  • Lighthouse Early Learning Centre www.cvcdcs.com/
  • Linc Youth Centre, Action Committee
  • Linc Youth Centre, Staff
  • Linc Youth Centre, Youth Council
  • Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School, Life Skills Program
  • Merry Andrew Day Care
  • Miracle Beach Elementary School, Grade 1
  • 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 Services
  • Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, AGM www.wingtips.org
  • Nala’atsi Alternate School
  • North Island College, Human Service Worker Program
  • North Island College, Human Services Articulation Conference
  • Oyster River Enhancement Society www.oysterriverenhancement.org/
  • Puddleduck Daycare
  • Pumpkin Patch Daycare
  • Puntledge Park Elementary School, Kindergarten
  • Puntledge Elementary School, Grade 3
  • Puntledge Park Elementary School, Grade 4
  • Puntledge Park Elementary School, Grade 5/6
  • Queneesh Elementary School, Earth Day Celebration
  • Queneesh Elementary School, Kindergarten to Grade 4
  • Robb Road Elementary School, 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, Transitional Ward
  • Saltwater Waldorf School
  • Scouts Canada, First Comox Scout Troup
  • Scouts Canada, First Tsolum Cubs Group
  • Stevenson Place (Seniors Independent Living) www.novapacific.ca/page131.htm
  • Tsolum River Restoration Society www.tsolumriver.org/
  • Tiger Too Pre-School
  • Vanier Senior Secondary School, Counseling Group
  • Vanier Senior Secondary School, Grade 8 English
  • Vanier Senior Secondary School, Grade 8 Science
  • Vanier Secondary School, Little Friends Day Care
  • Wachiay Friendship Centre, Elders Lunch www.wachiay.org
  • Wachiay Friendship Centre, Raven Back Youth Group www.wachiay.org
  • Wee Care Early Childhood Centres, Royston Elementary www.weecareinc.com
  • Youth and Ecological Restoration Program, Annual Community Celebration

 FUNDING FOR YER GENEROUSLY PROVIDED BY: