TRCA Youth Council

Got a passion for the environment? Looking to make a positive impact in your community? There could be a place for you on our Youth Council.

About TRCA’s Youth Council

members of TRCA Youth Council Executive at Albion Hills Field Centre

Are you between the ages of 16 and 30? Then the team here at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) wants to hear what you have to say about environmental issues.

TRCA’s new Youth Council is designed to give young people in the Toronto region a way to come together to identify issues that matter to you, and give you the tools to take real action.

Council members set their own annual goals, as well as continue on longer term projects started by previous Youth Council Executives and help move forward important TRCA work.

New initiatives could include organizing youth events about the environment, giving input on TRCA programs and priorities, or working on awareness-raising campaigns about specific environmental issues — the decision belongs to you.

Examples of previous events and projects include panel discussions on equity and inclusion in the conservation field, documentary screenings and Q&As with experts, and participating in the live streaming of TRCA’s work — like night-time electrofishing!

READY TO JOIN NOW?

Important Stuff to Know:


WHO SHOULD JOIN THE YOUTH COUNCIL?

If you’re between the ages of 16 and 30 and currently reside or attend school in TRCA’s jurisdiction, then the answer is simple: it’s you. (Check out the map below to see the boundaries of our jurisdiction.)

A couple of other important considerations:

  • We want the Council to be diverse: Members should come from the widest possible range of backgrounds, to reflect the tremendous diversity of the Greater Toronto Area.
  • We want members to be passionate: The people who join the Youth Council should be motivated, energized and committed to making real change.

members of TRCA Youth Council Executive outdoors in the snow at Albion Hills Field Centre


WHAT’S THE YOUTH COUNCIL ALL ABOUT, ANYWAY?

The Council has a couple of big goals:

First, to build healthy communities through improved connection to greenspace and nature
This can mean different things to different communities, but we know that a stronger connections to nature generally leads to the better health and well-being.

Second, to inspire empowered and engaged youth.
Young people have an enormous stake in the long-term health of our environment, and they need a voice right now in discussions about sustainability and conservation. That’s why it’s so important for the Council members themselves to shape its direction.

There are also some major objectives that will guide the development of program activities:

  • Build capacity and engage youth by creating learning opportunities for young people across the GTA.
  • Build a youth network and strengthen existing networks to help connect young people across the region who share a passion for environment and sustainability.
  • Identify youth perspectives so that young people’s views on current environmental issues can help inform the work of TRCA and its partners.
  • Create fun opportunities for youth to explore environmental issues in entertaining and engaging ways.

Sound good?

members of TRCA Youth Council Executive outdoors in the snow at Albion Hills Field Centre


SO WHY SHOULD I GET INVOLVED?

Lots of reasons. For starters, you’ll get to meet a lot of other young people who share your interests. You’ll learn about environment issues from experts who work on the front lines every day. And, above all, you’ll get a chance to decide for yourself how you want to make change happen.

Plus it’ll be fun.

What else do you get out of it?

  • Make new friends
  • Gain leadership skills
  • Expand your professional network
  • Enjoy new experiences
  • Get environmental sector experience.
  • Do some good.

youth group hiking at Tommy Thompson Park


Ready to Apply? Let’s Get Started

There are two ways to participate in the Youth Council: as a general member, or as a member of the Youth Council Executive.

GENERAL MEMBER
As a general member, your level of participation is up to you. There will be opportunities for all members to take part in a variety of activities on a drop-in basis. If you have an interest in heading up a project or initiative, you’re encouraged to bring your idea to the Youth Council Executive. To join as a general member, please fill out and submit this form.

EXECUTIVE MEMBER
The Youth Council Executive is the guiding body of the Youth Council. Ten Executive members will be selected for a term of one year. As an Executive member you’ll be expected to organize and run monthly Youth Council meetings, help set priorities for the year, and draw up the work plan. Applications for the Youth Council Executive are now closed.

TRCA Youth Council recognizes the systemic inequalities faced by BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond. We are working hard to address those inequalities through our work, and we encourage applications from the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.

TRCA Youth Council Webinars

Check out the videos from our most recent virtual events.

Hidden Rivers Q&A

• • • •

Electric Greg Q&A

• • • •

Barriers to Inclusion in Conservation and Outdoor Spaces

• • • •

Toad People Q&A

• • • •

Invasive Species Q&A

Questions?

If you’d like more information about the Youth Council, please contact Victoria Kramkowski, Government and Community Relations Specialist, Peel/York Watersheds.

Our Newsletter

Find out what’s been going on with the TRCA Youth Council by checking out back issues of our newsletter:


Youth Council Executive

The 10-member Youth Council Executive takes the lead in in organizing community events for the Youth Council and the general public. Working together with TRCA staff, Youth Council Executive members plan events focused on the issues that young people in the Toronto region are most passionate about.

members of TRCA Youth Council Executive

MEET YOUR EXECUTIVE MEMBERS

Elly Akkuyu Elly Akkuyu
Hi, there! I am nearing the end of my Master of Environmental Applied Science & Management degree at Ryerson University. I have spent the past three years investigating the flood risk management strategies and governance of flood risk at our very own Toronto Island. My academic interests include disaster risk reduction, risk perception, and the division of responsibility for risk reduction in light of a changing climate. I also enjoy learning new skills, like coding! If I’m not learning something new, I am likely cozied up next to my cat and reading the legends: Roderick Nash, Gilbert White, René Descartes, Karl Marx … and so on. I am excited to support TRCA in meeting their mandate and collaborating with our communities to increase our resilience to risks. One for all, all for one! Right?
Watershed: Lake Ontario Waterfront
Kasturi Bhatt Kasturi Bhatt
Hey there! I’m currently a grade 12 student, and after graduating I’d love to study ecology and conservation biology. So I’m thrilled to be a part of the TRCA Youth Council and to get to learn new things from such great people! I keep myself busy by learning new art skills like drawing, painting, embroidery etc., and by baking fun little treats. I’m a bit of a nature lover, so you can often find me biking around nature trails, and taking pics of cool plants and animals. I can’t wait to engage in all the fun opportunities the Youth Council has to offer 🙂
Watershed: Mimico Creek
Jessica Castellucci Jessica Castellucci
I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies in 2019, and I’m currently pursuing a Master of Environmental Applied Science and Management. My research is focused on determining the potential of permaculture implementation in diverting away from industrialized agricultural practices in Ontario. I’m a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability and working with others to address the climate crisis. In my spare time, I love to read and spend time with my dog, Mollie. I’m truly looking forward to my first year as part of the Youth Executive Council!
Watershed: Humber River
Akash Kar Akash Kar
Hi! My name is Akash, and I am so excited to be a part of the Youth Council this year! I’m currently in my fourth year at Ryerson, as an Urban and Regional Planning student and I am super interested in sustainable development, baking, being active, and being outside. A personal goal I have for this summer is to learn how to back-flip, so if you have any back-flipping tips please reach out to me. I am so grateful for the opportunity to represent the TRCA through the Youth Council, and I am really looking forward to a great as well as productive year!
Watershed: Lake Ontario Waterfront
Erinn Lee Erinn Lee
I graduated from the University of Guelph with a Master of Science, Rural Planning and Development and currently work as an Environmental Planner. In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, and making stained glass. I’m thrilled to be serving on the Youth Council Executive and look forward to meeting and learning from other like-minded members who are passionate about engaging in environmental issues and sustainability.
Watershed: Lake Ontario Waterfront
Alliza Leogo Alliza Leogo
Hi! My name is Alliza and I’m back for a second year on the Youth Council. I am a graduate of University of Toronto’s Master of Environmental Science program where I specialized in Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems. I am now working as an Environmental Education Assistant for an environmental charity where I get to combine my passions for field work and education.
Watershed: Frenchman’s Bay
Maham Malik Maham Malik
Hello! My name is Maham Malik and I am a grade 10 student. My areas of most interest in the environment are Indigenous reconciliation (climate justice) and environmental policy. I believe green space and diverse biodiversity are also important components for healthy communities. Another reason I value environmental conservation so much is since environmental sustainability is a major component of Islam! Therefore, I am strongly looking forward to being a part of TRCA’s Youth Council. If you would like to know more about environmental conservation/activism, would love to chat! Follow @taj_maham on Instagram.
Watershed: Humber River
Vamika Sharma Vamika Sharma
Hello! I’m Vamika, a high school student passionate about climate education and nature. In my free time, I enjoy reading, gardening, cooking and fitness. I look forward to learning from others while sharing my knowledge during my term on the Youth Council!
Watershed: Humber River
Bumika Srikanthalingam Bumika Srikanthalingam
Hi everyone! I’m currently pursuing an undergrad in urban and regional planning at X University (Ryerson) with a focus in environmental planning and resilience. I love spreading environmental awareness among my friends and family and hope I can extend that passion as a member of the council! I’m super excited to be able to make a real difference within local communities and to provide people with the resources and tools they need to take action against climate change.
Watershed: Lake Ontario Waterfront
Lillian Zhang Lillian Zhang
Hey guys! My name is Lillian Zhang, and I’m a high school student who’s excited to be back for another year with the TRCA Youth Council. Apart from my love for all things book-y, I adore making new friends and spontaneous trips to unexplored cities. I hope to pursue a career in biology and chemistry, and work to protect our city’s wildlife and greenspaces.
Watershed: Rouge River

 


TRCA’s Jurisdiction Map