A Thank You from Ontario Nature

Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership

Ontario Nature’s sixth annual Youth Summit brought together 95 youth from 57 communities across the province for an inspiring, action-packed weekend. Held September 25-27, 2015 at YMCA Geneva Park, teens had the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities and workshops including:

  • Pollinators and wildflowers
  • Nature discovery hike
  • Salamander survey
  • Fun with fly fishing
  • How to ‘be the change’
  • Debate on genetically modified organisms
  • Climate reality
  • First Nations ways of knowing
  • Ontario’s birds of prey
  • Sustainable gardening and youth leadership
  • Introduction to visual astronomy
  • Medicinal plants of Ontario
  • Insights into youth leadership
  • Making eco-art for community change

Other memorable moments included morning activities like canoeing, yoga, bird watching, swimming in Lake Couchiching, and an evening campfire with stories and songs to bring everyone together. The Great Group Challenge had teams facing off in fun challenges and participants developed personal action plans on pressing environmental issues at the Action Planning Forum.


  • “If I could summarize this experience in one word, it would have to be inspirational. I was not only surrounded by like-minded teens, but also adults who could help us on our journey. Honestly, there was so much fun going on that I didn’t even realize that I had learned so much about topics that I loved, and also topics I had no idea I was interested in. The experience was definitely rejuvenating, and helped me realize why I fell in love with our world in the first place!” – Christarin, age 16 from Scarborough
  • “The Youth Summit for me was an absolute blast! It came with such a positive message on the environment and conservation of it and what I can do to help. It inspired me to start a club at my high school where I can use a lot of the things I learned at the summit.” – Peter, age 17 from Barrie
  • “My weekend at the Youth Summit was one of the best weekends of my LIFE! I got to get out and explore in nature, learn about the earth and water and how we are all interconnected.  Sometimes it is hard to stay positive and believe that we can change the world, but the summit renewed my inspiration to keep working towards a brighter future for our little blue dot planet because there is no planet B.” – Lilian, age 17 from Toronto

Thank you to our Nature Network members and others whose financial support has made this summit possible:

Bancroft Field Naturalists
Brereton Field Naturalists’ Club
Brodie Club
Carden Field Naturalists
Carolinian Canada Coalition
Charleston Lake Environmental Association
Conservation Halton
Conservation Ontario
Credit Valley Conservation
Durham Region Field Naturalists
Friends of Charleston Lake Park
Friends of MacGregor Point Park
Friends of Mashkinonje
Hamilton Naturalists’ Club
Kawartha Field Naturalists
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Midland-Penetang Field Naturalists
Muskoka Field Naturalists
Nature Guelph
Nature League – Collingwood
North American Native Plant Society
North Durham Nature
Orillia Naturalists’ Club
Ottawa Field Naturalists’ Club
Owen Sound Field Naturalists
Penokean Hills Field Naturalists
Peterborough Field Naturalists
Pickering Naturalists
The Quetico Foundation
Rankin Resource Group
Saugeen Field Naturalists
South Peel Naturalists’ Club
Thickson’s Woods Land Trust
Upper Ottawa Valley Nature Club/Four Seasons Conservancy
Waterloo Region Nature
Willow Beach Field Naturalists
York Environmental Stewardship

The success of the Youth Summit would not be possible without the contributions from the following program sponsors:

The Chawkers Foundation



Click here to go to the Ontario Nature website for more information.