Ontario Envirothon Empowers Youth Environmental Leadership for 30 Years

Caption: Caption: Forests Ontario celebrates 30 years of Ontario Envirothon.

For three decades, the Ontario Envirothon program has been at the forefront of cultivating a new generation of environmental stewards among high school students across the province. Through a blend of immersive experiences and interactive activities spanning aquatic ecology, forestry, soils, wildlife, and contemporary environmental issues, the program has not only imparted knowledge but also honed essential skills like critical thinking, teamwork, and communication.

Led by Forests Ontario, this groundbreaking initiative has touched the lives of over 10,000 students since its inception in 1994. Speaking on the program’s impact, Jess Kaknevicius, CEO of Forests Ontario, remarked, “Ontario Envirothon is an invaluable platform that empowers budding environmental leaders to explore educational and career pathways in the natural sciences while fostering crucial networking opportunities.”

For three decades, the Ontario Envirothon program has been at the forefront of cultivating a new generation of environmental stewards

One such success story is Kelly Jamieson, an Ontario Envirothon alumna who now serves as a Senior Project Manager for Restoration Projects at the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. Jamieson credits the program for igniting her passion for environmental issues and shaping her career trajectory towards effecting positive change in ecological landscapes.

The 2024 edition of Ontario Envirothon will focus on the theme of biodiversity and its critical role in sustaining ecosystems. Participants will delve into the impact of climate change on biodiversity while exploring its broader socio-economic and cultural significance.

Regional events, hosted across select communities, will culminate in an eagerly anticipated provincial event set to take place at the University of Waterloo from May 26-29, 2024. With online registration open until March 22, 2024, high school students aged 14-19 are encouraged to seize the opportunity to showcase their environmental acumen and vie for a chance to advance to the prestigious National Conservation Foundation (NCF)-Envirothon.

Recognizing the pivotal support of sponsors like Maple Leaves Forever, Algonquin Forestry Authority, The McLean Foundation, Fleming College, and Durham College, Forests Ontario expresses gratitude for their unwavering commitment to nurturing environmental stewardship among Ontario’s youth. Allison Hands, Education Manager at Forests Ontario, lauds the collaborative efforts of sponsors, educators, and volunteers, underscoring the program’s transformative impact on students statewide.

In 2023, Markville Secondary School from York Region emerged triumphant in the Ontario Envirothon, clinching the third position at the esteemed NCF-Envirothon. This achievement serves as a testament to the program’s efficacy in fostering competitive excellence and environmental consciousness among Ontario’s brightest young minds.

As Ontario Envirothon celebrates its 30th anniversary, its legacy of inspiring environmental leadership continues to shine bright, promising a future where sustainability and stewardship thrive in the hands of today’s youth.

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