Press Release - 30 May 2012
The Youth and Ecological Restoration Program (YER) has two milestones to celebrate this year. On July 1st the program has been operating in the Comox Valley for eight years and over two hundred youth have participated. Funding is generously provided by BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. A YER celebration will be held at Glacier View Learning Centre on June 7th from 11:00 to 1:00. Pizza, cake and other refreshments will be provided; everyone is welcome.
A sleepy eyed teenager gets picked up early in the morning to don chest waders and go to one of our local streams to count and care for the precious wild salmon who live there.
They learn how we impact on salmon and how we help salmon to survive. They learn how forests help salmon and salmon help forests. They learn how people support youth to build a sense of themselves as part of our community and stewards of this place. In the words of one of the youth’s caregivers “this work makes a huge difference to the kids, the community and the environment; they are building their value system”.
YER provides youth with experience, training and support through involvement in local ecological restoration work. In the first phase they work with about four organizations and give a public presentation to a community group. Including referrals, environmental work and presentation places the program has created partnerships with one hundred and seventeen groups.
The program has a second phase (YERII) where youth build on their previous skills. The YER coordinator and two youth work together with a Registered Professional Biologist who guides the integrity of the work and provides a written report. This summer three YERII projects are planned. One project will conduct an ecological inventory in Seal Bay Park for Comox Valley Regional District, Community Services Branch. There are two projects for Millard Piercy Watershed Stewards; to expand watercourse mapping and conduct juvenile salmonid population estimates in Millard Creek.
Stay tuned, as the youth will be leading guided tours of the YERII project sites and there will be press releases to let you know where and when they will be happening. Check out the recently updated YER website at www.youthecology.ca for more info. Big thanks go to all of the youth who have participated over the past eight years and the community groups who have supported us.
There is much to celebrate and everyone is welcome to join us June 7th from 11:00 to 1:00. Presentations will be made by youth participants and community organization representatives. Glacier View Learning Centre is located on 241 Beecher Drive. To find it turn left at the Ryan/Back Road intersection, then turn right on Centennial Drive. For more information contact Wendy Kotilla at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-336-8487.