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!


Upcoming Youth Council Events

Important Stuff to Know:


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.
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


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


Lots of reasons! You can help shape the Youth Council. Here are some benefits to joining:

  • Make new friends who share your interests and passions
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Expand your professional network
  • Enjoy new experiences
  • Learn about the inner workings of an important environmental organization
  • Get environmental sector experience
  • Make a positive difference in your community!

Additionally, Executive members may benefit from gaining volunteer hours and references for job or school applications.

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.


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 – a commitment of approximately four to five hours a month.

Executive members must reside or attend school within TRCA’s jurisdiction and be between the ages of 16 and 30.

Applications for the Youth Council Executive are now closed.

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.


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.

Infrastructure Planning and Permits

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Hidden Rivers Q&A

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Electric Greg Q&A

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Barriers to Inclusion in Conservation and Outdoor Spaces

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Toad People Q&A

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Invasive Species Q&A


If you’d like more information about the Youth Council, please contact Jessica MacDonald, Coordinator, Government & Community Relations.

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.


Fatima Abidi Fatima Abidi
Hello! My name is Fatima and I’m so excited to be a part of the Youth Council this year. As a grade 11 student, I’ve gotten more chances to explore the realm of wildlife diversity and environmental action, and plan on pursuing environmental science or wildlife conservation. I hope to bring more local initiatives to help our communities contribute positively to the ecosystems they live in/around! Besides my passion for the environment, I enjoy reading, painting, gardening, and spending time outside with my sister!
Watershed: Don River
Sabrina Rose Capista Sabrina Rose Capista
My name is Sabrina Rose. I am a creative and curious being, interested in constantly evolving and connecting deeply to my environment. I am enthusiastic about curating events that foster community around self healing, nature connection, environmental activism, and the arts; something I am excited to do with the Youth Council this term. I have a Bachelor’s of Design in fashion and am continuing my education this year with a Master’s in Environmental Studies to weave together my many passions.
Watershed: Humber River
Jessica Castellucci Jessica Castellucci
Hi everyone! 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 happy to be starting my second year as a member of the Youth Council Executive!
Watershed: Humber River
Fallon Hayes Fallon Hayes
Hi everyone! I am an environmental scientist with passions for sustainability, agriculture and education! Currently, I am a member of the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s native pollinator and wildflower team, which is working to build networks for habitat restoration across the country! Last December I was selected by the Canadian Youth Biodiversity Network to attend COP15, where I had the opportunity to meet amazing youth activists from around the world and even lobbied for the preservation of the term “pesticides” in Target 7 (it was retained)! Although I have participated in both local and international projects, one that I am particularly proud of is my creation of the Educational Urban Garden Network which recently constructed a community garden at my former high school. I hope that this garden will help to connect youth with nature, promote land stewardship, enhance local food security, and empower students with the knowledge necessary to grow their own food. I am excited to join this year’s Youth Council and to become a member of the amazing TRCA team!
Watershed: Duffins Creek
Dhara Parsania Dhara Parsania
Hello there! I am finishing the first year of my undergraduate degree in the Integrated Sciences program at McMaster University. I am very passionate about the environment, climate education, and enjoying nature, with my favourite outdoor hobbies being hiking, camping, and canoeing. I look forward to the impact I can make as a part of this Youth Council and as a representative of my watershed!
Watershed: Humber River
Malhar Patel Malhar Patel
Hello! My name is Malhar and I am ecstatic to be part of the TRCA Youth Council this year! I am a recent Environmental Science graduate from McMaster University and I am extremely passionate about protecting the environment. I have a keen interest in exploring innovative solutions and raising awareness about pressing environmental issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource conservation. I enjoy spending time outdoors with my dog and experiencing everything nature has to offer. I am excited to be part of the Youth Council Executive team this year and I look forward to the engaging events that lie ahead!
Watershed: Humber River
Vamika Sharma Vamika Sharma
Hello! I’m Vamika and I’m excited to be returning for my second term on the TRCA Youth Council. I’m wrapping up my last year of high school in hopes of pursuing my studies in biology. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, weightlifting, gardening, and listening to podcasts (my go-to is Ologies by Alie Ward). As a Youth Council Executive member, I hope to continue sharing my passion for climate justice and biodiversity with the community while learning from other like-minded youth.
Watershed: Humber River
Lauren Smith Lauren Smith
Hi, my name is Lauren Smith and I am happy to be a member of the TRCA Youth Council Executive! I’m currently in grade 12 and am hoping to pursue biomedical engineering in university next fall. I love getting outside, and you might see me on the weekends going out hiking at the different TRCA conservation areas. In my free time I enjoy reading, camping, and being a Girl Guide. I am looking forward to my first year on the Executive!
Watershed: Humber River
Bumika Srikanthalingam Bumika Srikanthalingam
Hi everyone! My name’s Bumika and I’m going into my fourth year of the Urban and Regional Planning Program at Toronto Metropolitan University. My interests are in climate resilience, corporate waste management, and sustainable development, and my hobbies include baking, and watching cat videos. I’m super excited to be joining the Youth Council for another year of exciting events and discussions, and opportunities to learn!
Watershed: Lake Ontario Waterfront
Shatabdy Zahid Shatabdy Zahid
Hello! My name is Shatabdy and I am a public health researcher who is always looking for ways to better understand the relationship between our health and the environment. I am passionate about education, data, and getting folks to empower themselves to take climate actions. Outside of environmental advocacy, I enjoy crocheting, reading, and drinking lots and lots of tea!
Watershed: Lake Ontario Waterfront