The Sierra Club of BC received an $11,500 Community Grant in 2014 to support their Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP). The program is an experiential project that will engage over 250 youth in the Capital Regional District. Youth training in conservation, environmental stewardship and restoration will support sustainable food systems, healthy land and water, and a vibrant community of youth leaders. YELP’s four components are: habitat restoration; hands-on workshops and training; public education, outreach, and events; and mentoring and networking between participating schools and organizations in collaborative sustainability initiatives. Through increased skills, cohort comradery, and environmentally positive attitudes, YELP cultivates rich relationships with nature, which contributes to greater well-being, citizen engagement, and motivation for action.
Sierra Club provided us with this mid-year program update.
It is with great pleasure and gratitude for your support that we share with you some of the highlights from our YELP year thus far. From January to July, YELP worked with a core group of 8-14 participants and engaged over 600 youth in the Greater Victoria region.
Getting outside and getting our hands dirty
YELP youth each spent over 40 hours outdoors this spring through multiple hikes and restoration projects and one amazing Spring Campout. The youth restored one hectare of land in the CRD, connected with nature and learned about biodiversity, camping skills and environmental issues facing our communities.
As their Community Action Project this year, YELP youth chose to organize a bene?t concert in support of First Nations environmental protection, wanting to learn more about the connections between social and environmental issues. The youth learned about event organization, outreach, promotions, media, public speaking, First Nations protocol, and raised over $3,000 for the Pull Together campaign.
Community Recognition and Support
Belmont High School’s Youth Vital Signs team also selected Sierra Club BC and YELP as recipients of their community grant, inspired by the work being undertaken.
“Join a meeting for a day and you will experience so much love, happiness and curiosity to what is going on in the world! Also, YELP makes everyone’s lives 100% better in many ways!”
“My favourite part of YELP was when we had our weekly meetings outdoors and the hikes and campouts. The community and energy that was brought to each meeting was incredibly powerful and healing through my years of high school. I learned a lot and made a lot of great connections.”