The Charter represents the voices of concerned youth who care about the Greenbelt and its future, and whose livelihoods will be impacted by the decisions made through the 2015 Coordinated Land Use Planning Review. It is a testimony to the power of concerned youth in stewarding our environment and a reminder to future decision makers to think and act selflessly for future generations.
The Ontario Greenbelt Youth Charter was written by 18 dedicated high school students from across the Greater Toronto Area. Before writing the Charter, we wanted students to experience the Greenbelt and its landscapes. Over two days students explored different and iconic areas of the Greenbelt and learned of their significance to both community and environment. For many, this was their first time visiting and exploring the Greenbelt.
Our six stops included: Rouge Park and Little Rouge Creek, Ganaraska Forest, Alderville First Nation, Holland Marsh, Country Apple Orchard, and Sheppard’s Bush.
At each stop students listened to a short talk about the history, significance and interesting facts about the location, and then were given time to explore! While on the road, students completed reflection activities after each stop where they described what was most significant to them and why.
The bus tour ended at Sheppard’s Bush in Aurora where we joined with Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition (STORM) for a 25 year celebration of protecting the moraine. It was here that our Greenbelt Youth Ambassadors worked together to provide their unique perspectives on how to use and protect this beautiful landscape and create the first ever Ontario Greenbelt Youth Charter!
The Ontario Greenbelt Youth Charter is a project of EcoSpark, generously supported by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. EcoSpark facilitated the charter’s creation with 18 high school students from across the Greenbelt:
Adiba Alif, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School, Peel
Andrew Fryer, Dunbarton High School, Durham
Angela Lin, Milliken Mills High School, York
Angilea Singh, R.H. King Academy, Toronto
Brian Lew, SATEC at W.A. Porter Collegiate Institute, Toronto
Cody Khan, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School, Peel
Dani Gonzalez, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School, Peel
Dasha Degteariov, Richmond Hill High School, York
David Quan, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School, Peel
Edward Hewitt, Dunbarton High School, Durham
Ilakkiyan Jeyakumar, R.H. King Academy, Toronto
Kristal Ramnarine, Dunbarton High School, Durham
Michelle Song, Woodlands School, Peel
Monica Brighton, R.H. King Academy, Toronto
Sinthuyan Uthayanan, St. John Paul II Catholic Secondary School, Toronto
Sujithan Navakumar, W.A. Porter Collegiate Institute, Toronto
Taiya Talbert-McSherry, R.H. King Academy, Toronto
Wei En Du, Bur Oak Secondary School, York
EcoSpark would not be able to have the impact it does without the help and support of our dedicated volunteers! A big thank you to the dedicated volunteer educators who joined us for the Greenbelt Bus Tour:
Catherine Kurucz, TDSB
David Gordon, DDSB
Hanna Porter, TDSB
Kathleen Watt, University of Toronto
“Growing up in a city, I’ve always been surrounded by urbanization. A drive around Toronto and you will see construction and infrastructure everywhere. I think it’s important that we preserve as much of our untouched lands as possible, especially for a city that is growing exponentially. I want to make sure that I have a say in what happens to the Greenbelt because I treasure its value and the services that it provides.” – Angela Lin, Markham, ON
The Ontario Greenbelt Youth Charter is a project of EcoSpark generously supported by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.