Let your voice be heard to protect Ontario's Greenbelt!
Who are Greenbelt Youth Ambassadors?
Greenbelt Youth Ambassadors are university and high school students living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, who are concerned about the environment and the ongoing protection of the Greenbelt. Youth Ambassadors work together to educate fellow students, the general public and elected officials about the importance of maintaining and protecting the Greenbelt. They learn about, celebrate, and speak for the protected lands that maintain healthy local environments and communities.
What is the Greenbelt?
Ontario’s Greenbelt is a protected area of more than 2 million acres of land in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, safeguarding the natural resources that clean our air and water, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. It is one of the most biologically diverse areas in Canada, with some of the most fertile soil in the country. In addition, it reduces the risk of floods, provides a home for wildlife, and ensures communities have greenspaces to explore.
What does a Greenbelt Youth Ambassador do?
Greenbelt Youth Ambassadors explore the riches of Ontario’s Greenbelt including the farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds. In turn, they encourage others to understand its benefits, and advocate for its ongoing protection for future generations.
Youth Ambassadors learn:
1. About the importance of the Greenbelt and the role it plays in filtering our water, cleaning the air, reducing impacts of climate change, providing healthy local food, and recreational opportunities for surrounding communities.
2. The threats to the Greenbelt and the impacts policy and planning have on it.
3. To network with people working for the ongoing protection of the Greenbelt.
4. The skills to effectively communicate their newly gained knowledge to community members and local officials.
5. About career pathways to become community organizers and leaders in the environmental movement.
6. To work towards a better future for themselves and others.
How will Greenbelt Youth Ambassadors advocate their message?
Youth Ambassadors will work within three levels:
1. In a large group of Ambassadors from across the Greenbelt
2. In smaller regional groups
3. In issues groups that will focus on topics relevant to the protection of the Greenbelt
Youth Ambassadors will:
1. Work with other Youth Ambassadors from their region to identify, track, and respond to local issues positively or negatively impacting their area.
2. Work with Youth Ambassadors from other regions focused on similar issues impacting the Greenbelt in their area.
3. Attend and organize community events and meetings to promote the benefits of the Greenbelt.
4. Develop and execute communications strategies and plans, including both traditional media and social media campaigns.
5. Plan, organize and lead Greenbelt Youth Ambassador events and meetings.
Why should I apply?
Registration and Participation is FREE!
Still unsure about signing up? Take a look at the previous bus tour by clicking here
How can I participate in the program?
I. Greenbelt Tour:
Each Spring and Fall Greenbelt Youth Ambassadors will experience first-hand what the Greenbelt has to offer e.g. natural heritage features, local communities, impacts on the economy, ecosystem services etc.
Participants will meet experts who will teach them about land use issues and the impact of policy and planning on urban growth and local communities. They will meet people living and working on the Greenbelt who will explain the many roles the Greenbelt plays in protecting the environment and supporting Ontario’s economy. Finally, they will also see how development impacts local habitats and the natural ecosystems around them.
** Note: A maximum of 50 high school students will be selected for this opportunity. All applicants will be notified about tour details a couple of weeks prior to the tour. **
II. Ambassador Retreats:
Ambassadors retreats are opportunities for participants to come together and share their experiences, expand their knowledge, and plan future Greenbelt events. They will participate in a series professionally lead workshops, focused on skills development and program and project planning.
Workshops will include:
Retreats are 3 days, 2-night events taking place each summer in late August or early September. Food and lodging is provided by EcoSpark, including an honorarium to cover transportation and travel cost to attend the retreat.
Don’t miss out! Be a part of the next cohort of Greenbelt Youth Ambassadors!!
For questions and inquiries please contact EcoSpark by the following: [email protected] or 647-258-3280 x 2003
The Greenbelt Youth Ambassador program is generously supported by the