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Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition Recruiting Youth Activists to Advocate for Environmental Causes

The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition is seeking a youth volunteer for its Youth Steward program to help further their environment initiatives and engage new audiences. 

In talking to Local Journalism Initiative reporter Deepak Bidwai of Barrie Community Media, Alessia Molé of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition said the organization runs on volunteers. “We’d be open to whoever would want to put their hand up and get involved.” 

Molé, a master’s student at York University studying environmental studies, started as a communication intern but will continue to work as a volunteer. These steward volunteers, between 16 to 30 years old, will work with a board of directors to put forward new ideas and initiatives, continuing research on how to engage youth, and helping the organization tackle environmental issues. 

Molé said the volunteers should be “passionate about the environment and climate change, not just specifically about Lake Simcoe because the Rescue Lake Simcoe does really focus on a lot of different environmental issues.”

The Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, is an umbrella group dedicated to protecting Lake Simcoe. Their goals include reducing the annual phosphorus loading, increasing environmental awareness and concern in the watershed, increasing public participation in activities that promote the health of the watershed, and encouraging land use planning decisions and building techniques that will protect forests, wetlands, working farms, and Lake Simcoe. 

Molé said it was “frustrating to see” the lack of youth presence at environmental rallies, especially those opposing Bill 23, officially known as the More Homes Built Faster Act, which will open Ontario greenbelts to development. She has been working with executive director Claire Malcolmsonto to understand “where are the youth? Why haven’t they showed up?” and “what would have made more youth come out and made more youth speak up about these issues?”

Environmental activists and organizations are still grappling with the adverse impact of Bill 23. Molé was shocked and angered by the passing of the bill. “Everybody in the environmental field has experienced what’s called eco anxiety from time to time,” she said. And the bill was “such a step backwards” for the environment and the green belt which is in her “backyard” in Vaughan. 

“As a youth steward, you’ll be able to channel the worries that you have about the environment and climate change and Bill 23 into an organization that’s really making real change,” Molé said. 

For more information about the application, please refer to the website.

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