Join the Summer Challenge!

TRCA Youth Council presents: #DiscoverTRCA Summer Challenge

Discover TRCA summer challenge - brought to you by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Youth Council

Join the TRCA Youth Council for a nine-week summer challenge, designed to help you get outdoors, learn something new, and become an environmental champion — all for multiple chances to win great prizes every week, as well as a grand prize package of a TRCA Conservation Parks Membership Pass and a $75 MEC gift card at the end of the summer!

With three challenge options every week, there’s an activity for everyone’s interests. Complete and submit your challenges by every Monday to be entered into a weekly draw.

The #DiscoverTRCA Summer Challenge will run from July 4 to September 6, 2022.

DETAILS

To qualify, you must submit evidence of completion of one (1) to three (3) activities by each Monday at noon. Evidence may include a word document and/or a photo showcasing the completed activity.

Short activities will receive one (1) entry, medium activities will receive two (2) entries, and long activities will receive (3) entries into the weekly draw.

Participants may complete multiple activities per week and receive up to a maximum of six (6) entries each week, and forty-eight (48) entries over the challenge period.

Weekly prizes will be awarded by draw. One Grand Prize package will be awarded by draw and One Grand Prize package will be awarded to the participant with the most entries earned over the challenge period.

SUBMIT YOUR CHALLENGES

ACTIVITIES

Week 1: Truth and Reconciliation – July 4-11

Week 1’s theme for the Summer Challenge is Truth and Reconciliation.

Every Canadian has a responsibility to educate themselves on this topic and to work together to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples.

Weekly Prize: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Deadline: Monday July 11, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
There are various resources online to learn about land acknowledgements, treaties, territories, and Indigenous history in Canada. You may want to understand more about the history of this land and the enduring Indigenous presence of the place where you reside.

Spend some time learning about land acknowledgements and consider writing one of your own by finding the traditional territories and treaty lands you live in and reflecting on the history of the land.

Here are some online resources that can help you start learning about treaties, territories, and Indigenous communities near you. You are welcome to search for others on your own:

Submission:

  • Text reflection: In the form of a land acknowledgement, share the names of the Indigenous territories and treaty lands for where you live.
  • Optional: Share what you’ve learned on social media and tag us @trca_hq.

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
Support Indigenous artists and learn more about Indigenous peoples, cultures, and history by watching a short film or documentary created by an Indigenous artist.

Examples:

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Provide a summary of three things you learned or enjoyed about the film you selected.
  • Optional: Share your movie recommendation on social media and tag us @trca_hq.

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was created through the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, to facilitate reconciliation among former students of Indian Residential Schools, their families, their communities, and all Canadians.

The TRC’s mandate was to inform all Canadians about what happened in residential schools and to facilitate reconciliation among former students of residential schools, their families, their communities and all Canadians. The TRC documented the truth of Survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience.

In December 2015, the TRC released its entire six-volume final report. All Canadians are encouraged to read the summary and/or or the final report to learn more about the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools.

The final report includes 94 “Calls to Action” (or recommendations) to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples.

The third challenge is to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action and write a reflection on a specific Call to Action of your choice.

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Write a reflection on Canada’s current progress on one Call to Action. Please include reflections on how you as an individual can contribute to the Call to Action. 300-400 words.

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 2: Species Identification – July 11-18

Week 2 of the #DiscoverTRCA challenge is all about Biodiversity and Species Identification. Spend some time learning more about the plant and animal species around you!

Weekly Prize: The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs by Tristan Gooley
Deadline: Monday July 18, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
Get outdoors and explore your neighbourhood or a nearby trail. Use the free Tree Bee, Seek or iNaturalist apps to help you identify three tree species.

Submission:

  • Text and 3 photos: Send us a list with the scientific names of the trees you identified and a photo of you beside each one!
  • Optional: Post a fun fact about trees on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
Listen to bird songs and go out birding for at least 30 minutes. Morning is the best time to find them! Get the help of the Merlin app to identify your birds by sight or sound. You can use the eBird app to submit your observations for others to see.

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Share with us a list of all the birds you heard!
  • Optional: Share your birding experience with others on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
Design your dream garden using native plants! You can hand-draw the garden or use a website or the Plan-A -Garden app to help you. Here are some sources of inspiration:

Submission:

  • Text reflection and image: Submit a screenshot or photo of your design and a text description of your garden vision.
  • Optional: Share your design on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 3: Sustainability – July 18-July 25

The theme for week 3 is Sustainability! Completing any of these challenges will help you live a little more sustainably and reduce your environmental impact.

Weekly Prize: Shampoo Gift Set and Bath Puff from Green & Frugal
Deadline: Monday July 25, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
Think about multiple aspects of your daily life and the emissions associated with your lifestyle by calculating your carbon footprint. Consider at least one way to reduce it.

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Share your plan for reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Optional: Share your action plan on social media with others and tag us at #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
Use active transportation (e.g., walking, biking) to get to school or work and share the distance you traveled along with a picture of your favourite view!

Submission:

  • Text and photo: Share with us the distance you traveled (as text or a screenshot). Submit at least one photo of your view or of you using active transportation. Be sure to take a photo from a safe and stationary location.
  • Optional: Share your active transportation experience on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
Try eating only locally grown and/or plant-based foods for one day. Discover new recipes online and explore the potential benefits of eating locally grown foods and a plant-based diet. You can learn more about TRCA’s Urban Agriculture initiatives here. Try cooking something for yourself, or for friends and family!

Submission:

  • Text or photo: Share a picture and/or recipe of one of your meals.
  • Optional: Share your meals on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 4: Waste – July 25-August 2

Welcome to week 4 of the #DiscoverTRCA Summer Challenge, where you can learn to become a part of the solution and not the pollution! Reduce your personal waste and become a pro-recycler by participating in this week’s challenges.

Weekly Prize: Starter’s Zero Waste Gift Set from Green & Frugal
Deadline: Tuesday August 2, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
Share 3 eco-friendly swaps you have made or will make to reduce your reliance on single-use plastics (e.g. opting for a reusable water bottle).

Submission:

  • Text and photos: Share at least one photo of you making an eco-friendly swap or re-using an item before it becomes waste. Submit a text description of 3 swaps you will make.
  • Optional: Share your waste reduction on social media with others and tag us at #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
Go to your municipality’s website and determine what is recyclable (and compostable) in your jurisdiction! Post the lists above your recycling (and compost) bins as a daily reminder.

Submission:

  • Photo: Submit a photo of the recycling (or compost) list you’ve researched.
  • Optional: Share your action with us on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
Participate in an organized community clean-up or take initiative and pick up litter in a nearby park. Send us a photo of you keeping nature litter-free.

Submission:

  • Photo: Submit at least one photo of you completing a clean-up at an outdoor space near you.
  • Optional: Share your accomplishment with others on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 5: Reuse and Repair – August 2-8

Join week 5 of #DiscoverTRCA where we learn to reduce, reuse, repair, recycle. Participate in challenges all about mitigating waste.

Weekly Prize: Sewing Repair Kit
Deadline: Monday August 8, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
Find a hole in your shirt? Have an item you don’t like wearing because of the fit? Repair or alter a piece of clothing instead of throwing it out and send us a photo of your fixed up item.

Submission:

  • Photo: Submit a photo of your repaired or altered clothing item.
  • Optional: Share your alteration on social media with others and tag us at #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
Get creative with this challenge by making a piece of art using recycled materials from your home. Find some inspiration online.

Submission:

  • Photo: Submit a photo of your completed artwork.
  • Optional: Post your art on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
There are a number of ways to find second homes for items you no longer want. You can sell or trade items online, or find a local thrift store or clothing charity and donate your unwanted items.

Submission:

  • Photo: Share a photo of you selling, trading, or donating your unwanted items.
  • Optional: Share your closet clean-out on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 6: Nature and Storytelling – August 8-15

Welcome to another week of the #DiscoverTRCA Summer Challenge! In week 6, we zero in on nature and the power of storytelling. Whether it’s the forest you see outside your window, or the nature in a neighbouring country, we can’t wait to see where discovery and environmental journalism takes you.

Weekly Prize: Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Notebook
Deadline: Monday August 15, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
Tap into your inner Edgar Allan Poe by writing a poem based on nature. Find some inspiration at your local library, bookstore, or online. Any length, style, and formatting is welcome for your poem.

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Submit your nature-inspired poetry.
  • Optional: Don’t forget to share your poem on social media and tag us at #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
Make it a movie night! Complete this week’s challenge by watching a nature documentary recommended by TRCA’s own Youth Council. Grab some popcorn, your favourite drink, and a camera to capture a photo of the film you watched. Here are some recommendations from us:

Submission:

  • Photo: Submit a photo of your movie night.
  • Optional: Share your movie recommendation on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA.

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
Have the urge for a walk outside? Being out in nature is good for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Observe the environment around you on your walk and journal a nature story after your experience outdoors.

Submission:

  • Text and image: Share your nature story through a social media post or submit a short journal entry on your experience outdoors. Submit your text or a screenshot of your post.
  • Optional: Remember to tag us with #DiscoverTRCA on social media!

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 7: Be an Environmental Champion – August 15-22

This week’s theme is being an Environmental Champion. Learn about opportunities to be engaged in decisions that affect the environment and your community. It’s your chance to be an advocate for environmental issues that are important to you.

Weekly Prize: One-year subscription to Canadian Geographic
Deadline: Monday August 22, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
The Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) is a website that allows members of the public to comment and share their thoughts on proposed actions by the provincial government that could affect the environment. This is a place where you can take part in provincial government decision-making via consultation. The Government of Ontario uses the registry to let people know about environmental matters in the province. Ontarians can submit comments to any ERO postings in the proposal stage. There are multiple ways to search the ERO for topics of interest to you.

The Province consults with the public on the registry by:

  • Posting notices on actions that may affect the environment
  • Providing opportunities to comment on the notices
  • Informing the public of any decisions made on the notice

This includes changes to or new environmental acts, regulations, policies, and instruments (e.g. permits, approvals, orders).

Explore the ERO. Are there notices that interest you? What did you learn about the ERO? Why is the ERO important to you and others living in Ontario?

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Submit a brief reflection on the questions above.
  • Optional: Share your newfound knowledge of the ERO with others!

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
Write a letter to your local MP, MPP or Councillor about an environmental issue or decision that is important to you. Research what is being done in your community to address this issue and provide suggestions for the types of actions you would like to see.

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Submit a copy of your letter to us.
  • Optional: Share your letter with others and have them sign on or submit it to their elected official as well. Encourage others to use their voices!

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
Find and watch a Town/City Council meeting or a Public Information Centre presentation for a local environmental assessment, project, or decision in your community that interests you. These can be watched online or attended in-person depending on availability. Describe the decision/project of interest and provide a summary of what you learned at the meeting.

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Submit a summary of the local governmental meeting that you attended.
  • Optional: Share your learnings on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA!

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 8: Water – August 22-29

Welcome to Week 8 of the #DiscoverTRCA Summer Challenge! This is the final themed week, where we dive into the presence of water around us and the impact we have on the environment through our water usage.

Weekly Prize: Camp Scene Tin Mug and Turtle Protection Project Socks from Ontario Parks
Deadline: Monday August 29, 12:00 p.m.

Challenge 1 (Short, 30 min, 1 entry):
Ever wonder how much water you use in a day? Calculate your water footprint and let us know the size of your footprint! After that, try checking for leaks in and around your home.

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Submit your water footprint and a reflection of something you found interesting or surprising.
  • Optional: Share a photo with us of you checking for leaks around your home!

Challenge 2 (Medium, 1-2 hours, 2 entries):
There are nine watersheds in TRCA’s jurisdiction – which one do you belong to? Find your watershed and learn more about it through TRCA’s Watershed Report Cards. If you are outside of the TRCA jurisdiction, search for your local Conservation Authority. How is the health of your watershed?

Submission:

  • Text reflection: Submit a reflection about your watershed. What did you learn about it?
  • Optional: Share your watershed learnings on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA!

Challenge 3 (Long, half day, 3 entries):
The Toronto area is home to several lost or hidden rivers. Explore one of them using the Lost Rivers map and snap a picture of parts of the river that you find!

Submission:

  • Text and photos: Submit at least one photo of you exploring a Lost River in the Toronto area, with a short description to explain your location and findings.
  • Optional: Share your Lost Rivers discoveries on social media with the hashtag #DiscoverTRCA!

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

Week 9: Bonus Week – August 29-September 2

This final week of the #DiscoverTRCA Summer Challenge allows participants to submit any challenges from Weeks 1 to 8 that they have not previously completed. Submissions will count towards entries into the draw for the Grand Prize!

Deadline: Tuesday September 6, 12:00 p.m.

Grand Prizes:

  • 1 Grand Prize Package awarded by draw: 1 TRCA Conservation Parks Membership Pass, 1 $75 Gift Card to MEC, and 1 Hour Mentorship Meeting with TRCA Staff
  • 1 Grand Prize Package awarded to the individual with the highest participation across the Summer Challenge: 1 TRCA Conservation Parks Membership Pass, 1 $75 Gift Card to MEC, and 1 Hour Mentorship Meeting with TRCA Staff

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

 

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY

Your name:(Required)
Activity week:(Required)
For Week 9 (August 29-September 6), please select the original week for the challenge you completed.
Activity completed:(Required)
Only complete submissions will be counted for the prize draws (see Summer Challenge instructions). 2,400 characters maximum.
Please upload the highest resolution possible.
Drop files here or
Accepted file types: jpg, png, gif, tif, Max. file size: 64 MB.
     
    Image release: You acknowledge and agree that the Organizers shall exclusively own any and all right, title and interest (including copyright) in and to the Digital Images and shall be entitled to edit the Digital Images in Organizers sole discretion. Furthermore, you hereby irrevocably waive any rights that you may have at law or in equity, including but not limited to any personality rights and any rights under privacy laws, to control or restrain the public use of the Digital Images.(Required)
    This Release is given voluntarily by me after reading and understanding it and I acknowledge that the TRCA and Releasee are relying on it. Photos from this contest may be highlighted on TRCA Youth Council presentations, websites, and social media to inspire youth involvement and sustainable action.
     

     

    CONTEST RULES

    How to Participate
    1. This contest is open to the public. You are eligible for this prize upon completion of the submission form.
    2. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY: Enter the contest for FREE by completing the submission form by 12:00 p.m. on September 6, 2022, found HERE.

    Contest Entries
    3. Up to three (3) entries are permitted per email address per weekly draw: one (1) entry per challenge outlined in the Summer Challenge Instructions. Entries will be awarded one (1) to three (3) points depending on the challenge level. TRCA reserves the right to disqualify entries that are deemed incomplete or fraudulent or entries that exceed limitations set out herein.

    Prize Availability
    4. A total of eight (8) weekly prizes and two (2) Grand Prize packages will be given away. See Challenge instructions for details.
    5. Total retail value of each weekly prize is $30 plus HST. Prizes will be issued by mail, following confirmation with each prize winner.
    6. Total retail value of the Grand Prize packages is approximately $150 plus HST. Prizes will be issued virtually.

    Prize Distribution
    7. Weekly Prizes: Prize winners will be randomly selected after the weekly deadline through a draw that includes all online entries for the stated week. Once submitted, entries will remain active until the end of the Grand Prize draw. Only one weekly prize will be issued per email address. Once a winner has been selected, they will be ineligible to be awarded a further weekly prize, but will remain eligible for the Grand Prize package.
    8. Grand Prize packages: One (1) Grand Prize package will be awarded by draw among all eligible entries. One (1) Grand Prize package will be awarded to the individual with the most points accumulated over the 9-week event period, with confirmation by the TRCA Youth Council Executive. Discretion will be used by the TRCA Youth Council to select a winner should there be a tie, with consideration given for the quality and completion of challenge submissions.
    9. The Prizes must be accepted within 48 hours of notification by email and will be mailed to participants following confirmation.

    Odds of Winning
    10. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of submissions received by TRCA.

    General Rules
    11. Prizes are available to be claimed by selected winners upon notification from TRCA and will be delivered to each selected winner. Selected winners must accept Prizes within 48 hours.
    12. A prize claimant may be required to show identification to claim a prize. If identification cannot be provided, TRCA reserves the right to retract prize offerings.
    13. Prize claimant must be a resident of Canada.
    14. Employees of TRCA are not eligible to participate in this contest.
    15. By participating in this contest, entrants agree to be bound by these official rules and all decisions of TRCA which are final.
    16. Prizes must be accepted by prize claimant as awarded and not convertible to cash value.
    17. Prize claimant must answer a skill-testing question
    18. Each confirmed winner will be notified by email. By participating in this contest, confirmed winners are deemed to have consented to the disclosure of their personal information to TRCA for the limited use of delivery of Prizes.
    19. TRCA is not responsible for lost, late, mutilated, or misdirected Prize claims.
    20. TRCA reserves the right to suspend, cancel or modify the draw at any time, if it deems the draw cannot be run as originally planned or for any other occurrence compromising the fairness or integrity of the draw.