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.

NEW! Come Learn With Us

TRCA’s Youth Council is inviting you to learn about reconciliation with us. We will be going through the free open online course, Indigenous Canada, together and hope you’ll join us!

REGISTER FOR OUR UPCOMING DISCUSSIONS:

JULY 29, 2021  SEPT 9, 2021

Sign up for the Indigenous Canada course through Coursera.

WATCH MORE YOUTH COUNCIL VIDEOS


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.

It will be up to Council members themselves to set the annual goals. That could mean organizing youth events about the environment, giving input on TRCA programs and priorities, or working on awareness-raising campaigns to raise awareness about specific environmental issues — the decision belongs to you.

READY TO JOIN NOW?

Upcoming Youth Council Events

 


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.

  • 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. 2021 applications for the Youth Council Executive are now closed. Thanks to everyone who applied!

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.

Questions?

If you’d like more information about the Youth Council, please get in touch with Kate Goodale, Coordinator, Peel and York Watersheds.

TRCA Youth Council Webinars

Check out the videos from our most recent virtual events.

Hidden Rivers Q&A

TRCA’s Youth Council hosted an online screening of the Freshwaters Illustrated film Hidden Rivers. While this documentary was filmed in the U.S., many of the themes are relevant to the rivers of Ontario. Following the movie, Youth Council members discussed some of those themes — including how we can all enjoy and project our rivers — with experts from TRCA and the Toronto Zoo.


Electric Greg Q&A

Following a Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA ) Youth Council virtual screening of the documentary Electric Greg, Josh Der from Toronto and Region Chapter of Protect Our Winters (POW) and Sharon Lam from Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) join TRCA Youth Council Executive Wai Ying Lam to discuss POW’s ongoing 12 Month Climate Challenge and climate change in the Toronto Region. Please note: The original version of this film contains some language that may not be suitable for all viewers; due to copyright the film is not included in this recording of the online panel discussion.


Barriers to Inclusion in Conservation and Outdoor Spaces

Join TRCA’s Youth Council for a discussion about the systemic barriers that exist in the conservation sector. This discussion covers the historic context of racism in conservation, the current state of diversity in the environmental sector, and finally what we can do as organizations and individuals to address these inequalities.


Toad People Q&A

Following a virtual screening of the documentary Toad People, filmmaker Isabelle Groc talks with TRCA’s Tisha Tan about the movie, road ecology, and how youth can get involved in conservation efforts.


Invasive Species Q&A

TRCA’s Youth Council Is joined by experts from TRCA and York Region for a conversation about invasive species.The wide-ranging discussion covers the impacts of notable invasive species that exist in our watersheds, how they are being dealt with, and the ways that young people can make an impact on the well-being of the landscapes in their communities.

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

Maya Adachi-Amitay Maya Adachi-Amitay
Hi! My name is Maya. I’m a third year Environmental Studies student, specializing in environmental management and sustainable energy. I am passionate about environmental justice, food sovereignty, and environmental education. This is my second year on the Youth Council, and I’m so excited to work with the team to continue organizing exciting events!
Watershed: Border between Don River Watershed and Lake Ontario Waterfront
Marion Davies Marion Davies
I’m Marion, and I’m really happy to be joining TRCA’s Youth Council Executive. I’ve had a lifelong interest in natural spaces and the environment, and I hold a Master of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University and a BA in Geography from the University of Guelph. I have a particular interest in agricultural sustainability and biodiversity conservation, and I’m looking forward to learning from the other members of the Youth 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 TRCA through the Youth Council, and I am really looking forward to a great as well as productive year!
Watershed: Lake Ontario Waterfront
Wai Ying Lam Wai Ying Lam
TL;DR: I’m a hydrology nerd who likes to read books, bake bread and run far. I’m a graduate student doing research in contaminant hydrology, with a background in biology and environmental sciences. Please get in touch if you want to chat about research life, great books, distance running, or cooking healthy food! I love sharing my enthusiasm for conservation and the outdoors, and am very excited to serve on your Youth Council Executive. This year is going to be awesome. Follow me: @bytheWai
Alliza Leogo Alliza Leogo
I recently graduated from the University of Toronto Master of Environmental Science program where I specialized in Terrestrial and Aquatic Systems. I am currently working as an Environmental Education Assistant for an environmental charity where I get to combine my passions for field work and education. As a resident of Frenchman’s Bay Watershed, I look forward to an exciting year representing Durham region on the Youth Council.
Watershed: Frenchman’s Bay
Alessia Mole Alessia Mole
I’m Alessia, and I’m returning for another year on the Youth Council. I live within the Humber River Watershed; I love spending time walking through Boyd Conservation Park. I graduated from the Environment and Urban Sustainability program at Ryerson University and am now working at Nature Conservancy of Canada as the Federal Programs Coordinator. I’m especially interested in protecting and integrating green space within urban communities, and am passionate about community engagement and outreach.
Watershed: Humber River
Fabiha Nazat Fabiha Nazat
Hello! My name is Fabiha and I’m currently a grade 10 student at Victoria Park C.I. I am passionate about the environment and all things STEM-related. In the future, I hope to pursue biomedical engineering. I am privileged and beyond grateful to spend my first year with the TRCA Youth Council as an exec. I am sure this year will be wonderful and immensely productive!
Watershed: Don River
Josh Russell Josh Russell
I’m Josh. I grew up exploring the ravines of the Rouge River and its tributaries in the Rouge watershed. I have had a strong connection to Toronto’s rivers and ravines ever since! I am excited to join the 2021 TRCA Youth Council Executive and work with other members to give youth a voice at TRCA. I believe our rivers are part of what make the GTA unique and that these spaces should be protected and accessible for everyone to enjoy. I have a Master’s in Sustainable Energy Policy from Carleton University with research interests in community energy planning. I work with the federal government as a Policy Analyst.
Watershed: Rouge River
Lillian Zhang Lillian Zhang
Hey, if you know anything about me it’s probably that I have a knack for bookish things. Being in high school, I don’t have much time to read, but when I do, it’s mostly about what goes on in the world. I’m currently pursuing biology and chemistry, and I’m so excited to be a part of the Youth Council this year. Here’s to a better world! You can find me @lillianzhang_ on Instagram.
Watershed: Rouge River
Matthew Zuniga Matthew Zuniga
Hi. My name is Matthew and I’m a fun guy. Kawhi quote aside, I am a graduate from Ryerson University’s Environment and Urban Sustainability (EUS) program, and have since worked on expanding my horizons in the sustainability world. I am a Torontonian through and through, having been born and raised here, and currently reside within the Humber River Watershed! I am blessed to be able to continue in my role on this amazing Youth Council for what is now my second term, and I am sure that this year will be even more awesome than the year before! Excited for what is to come. 😊
Watershed: Humber River

 


TRCA’s Jurisdiction Map