Junction Creek Stewardship Committee planning summer program for teens
Free program hopes to foster teen interest in conservation
The Junction Creek Stewardship Committee is hoping to get more young people interested in environmental stewardship.
The Sudbury-based group is launching a four-week program for teens this summer, which includes nature hikes, tree planting, art projects, and conversations with experts on different areas of environmental protection.
Lili Paradi, coordinator of the program, said it's important for the committee to get teens involved.
"We realize that a lot of the programming that the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee does in terms of research, restoration, being in the environment, it's always a range of ages who gets involved," she said.
"But we often see older folks come out, or parents with their very, very young kids. It's very seldom that we see teens or youth being out in the environment and being in community events."
When they do see teens at their events, it's "awesome," Paradi said. It's also an encouraging sign, as a connection to the environment is especially important since pandemic restrictions forced most teens to attend class virtually.
"We realize that in this pandemic and the stay at home order, that it's so important to gain connection with nature sustainably, being in your local environment and just being able to get outside and learn about the things around you," Paradi said.
Paradi said that at the end of the program, teens will have the opportunity to collaborate with others on a shared conservation project.
"The things that kind of came into mind for the coordinators of this program were projects that the youth would be able to collectively use their individual skills to be able to accomplish," she said.
"Something like a video that will showcase their work or preparation for a pollinator garden, for example, or even a mural that includes kind of ideas and artwork and creativity that will help the environment as well."
The important thing, Paradi said, is to keep teens working together with a common goal.
"We can't really tell until we meet the group and see what their interests are and they'd like to do," she said. "But that's kind of the thoughts that we had in terms of community projects that we can accomplish within a month's time span. "
The program is free, and will run for four weeks during July. To find out more about the program, visit the Junction Creek Stewardship Committee's web site.