• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Youth initiatives launched to combat climate change in Simcoe County

In Council Watch
Jul 9th, 2021

Internships provide local youth with a stronger voice and platform

July 8, 2021 – Simcoe County

Two summer internships provided through the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition aim to put youth voices front and centre in discussions about climate, preserving our natural heritage and how the County should plan for the future.

One internship, Environmental Youth Advocate Internship,  was established through the generosity of Margaret Atwood.  The recipient is Blythe Wieclawek who is already a strong voice in local youth organizations and environmental advocacy.  Her role is to help other youth organizations in the area get the tools and information they need to be stronger advocates.

“Youth advocacy is essential in the fight against climate change, especially on a local level. We have grown up during the climate crisis and are bold and ready to create change. We have the ideas, but many youth groups are lacking the tools needed to begin their advocacy journey. I am so excited to work with SCGC to provide youth groups the tools they need to create the change they want to see.”

The other internship was awarded through Canada Summer Jobs and is aimed at bringing more awareness to local treasures such as Lake Simcoe and natural heritage features and the threats they are facing.  Awarded to Kelly Gingrich, she is also working with other youth focused organizations to develop a vision of what Simcoe County could be.

“A lot of big changes are coming, whether we want them to or not. Strong community participation, especially from youth, is vital to how well we handle these changes. Reconnecting to and understanding the places we live in is critical to opening up new possibilities on the way to not only meeting our 2050 climate targets, but to a future of so much more.”

Margaret Prophet, Executive Director of SCGC says, “For too long, youth voices have been marginalised and not taken seriously.  They have great ideas and vision and adults need to make space for them to be heard and encourage them to help lead us towards a better future.  When we’re potentially facing a toxic Lake Simcoe and the climate of Mississippi within 60 years, we need all hands on deck.  We know these two are great leaders in their own right and believe they will do amazing things locally and beyond.”

Any youth in the area are welcome to get involved and connect with Blythe or Kelly via email:  blythe@simcoecountygreenbelt.ca or kelly@simcoecountygreenbelt.ca

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