Conservation Halton’s Climate Action Program for Newcomer Youth Receives $200,000 Grant from RBC Foundation

By Staff

November 20th,  2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Conservation Halton Foundation has found some financial support while the province hammers away at whittling down the role the Conservation Authority has in protecting the environment and the watersheds of the Region

Conservation Halton Foundation received a grant of $200,000 from RBC Tech for Nature for the Green Space Newcomer Youth Climate Forum.

This grant will support the next two years of Green Space—a climate action pilot that Conservation Halton’s Education Team launched in 2021.

Through monthly workshops and climate action events, Green Space helps youth enhance their climate literacy, gain practical skills to fight climate change, build new social connections and develop the knowledge and confidence to take on leadership roles in local climate initiatives.

“Our program is aimed at empowering youth to find their voice in the climate action movement,” said Brenna Bartley, Education Manager at Conservation Halton. “We’re so grateful to have the renewed support of the RBC Foundation towards this outcome.”

Through the Tech for Nature program, the RBC Foundation provided a founding grant in 2021 that launched the three-year pilot. With this new announcement of funding and program reinvestment, Conservation Halton looks forward to reaching dozens more youth each year and to seeing past participants return as peer mentors. As part of the grant, the program team will also develop an online climate hub to share local monitoring data and promote community climate learning.

“Climate change and the issues we’re facing connects us all as we work to build a better future,” says Jeff Bradley, Regional Vice President, Halton, RBC. “Through RBC Tech for Nature and our partnerships, we are committed to bringing the power of innovative technologies to address and scale solutions to face this crisis together.”

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Climate change is a challenge without a precedent. It can feel overwhelming, but youth can make a difference with their skills, knowledge and experience! Conservation Halton launched the Green Space: Newcomer Youth Climate Forum in 2021 in partnership with RBC Tech for Nature. The program helps youth aged 14-29 learn more about climate change, gain practical skills to help their community to fight climate change, and make new friends. From November 2022 to June 2023, participants will gain volunteer hours and the knowledge and skills needed to take on leadership roles in their local climate action initiatives through two monthly workshops. Participants will also be able to engage in projects designed to give them additional skills in environmental monitoring, technology and innovation.

The RBC Tech for Nature program has enabled more than 100 charitable partners to implement new ideas, technology and collaborations that address the planet’s most pressing needs.

“We are proud of our pilot’s ambitions and successes one-year in. We are giving our diverse cohort of youth the ecological and climate change-related skills and knowledge they need to champion positive change in our watershed,” said Hassaan Basit, President and CEO of Conservation Halton.

The pilot’s partners and collaborators include Halton Multicultural Connections and Grandmother’s Voice. More than a dozen Conservation Halton scientists, educators and community guest speakers are expected to participate in the program’s 2022/23 workshops and events, which will include a new innovation module to introduce youth to emerging and cutting-edge technologies in climate adaptation and mitigation.

Conservation Halton is the community-based environmental agency that protects, restores, and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators, along with a network of volunteers, who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens.

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