Wendy Kotilla – Founder

Wendy Kotilla created YER in 2004 based on her own youth experiences of being 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 thirty years in Ecological Restoration and Restorative Justice. She received the UVic 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for the YER program.

Photo taken by Viable Options Photography.


Elders Guiding Youth

Elders Guiding Youth

Oyster River Enhancement Society (ORES) has been a dedicated supporter of Youth and Ecological Restoration (YER) since the program began in 2004. Youth #6 was the first to come and help ORES volunteers with restoring salmon stocks to the river. In 2005, Youth #20 said that “ORES is a birthplace that brings life to the world. It is a place for fish to mate and we can help them.”

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The YER vision is to engage youth in a wider circle of community relationships, in both the human and natural worlds. Involving them with meaningful work and caring adults supports them in building self esteem and has the ability to transform their lives. In YER, youth travel a journey together with their community and experience a better relationship with the people and place called home.