Forests Ontario

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Ontario youth benefit from new demand for Green Jobs

TORONTO, June 16, 2009 – Trees Ontario is partnering with the Ministry of Natural Resources to provide green jobs for the province’s youth. This comes as research conducted by the Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Canada states that there will be an increase in demand for employees in environment-related fields between now and 2011.

For eight weeks this summer, 39 Ontario Stewardship Ranger teams will be located across the province working on natural resources management projects with a number of community partners, such as conservation authorities, stewardship councils, municipal governments and not-for-profit organizations. Each Ontario Stewardship Ranger team consists of one team lead and four rangers. Projects include: tree survival assessments, tracking and monitoring fish and wildlife populations, restoring lake, stream and wetland habitat, building boardwalks and trails, supporting species at risk and assisting with community events for kids.

“It is important that we foster the passion that youth have for the environment and provide them with opportunities to explore possible career paths,” said Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources.  “All Ministry of Natural Resources youth employment programs, including the Ontario Stewardship Ranger Program, provide on-the-job training, work experience in natural resources and fantastic learning opportunities.”

Trees Ontario, a not-for-profit tree planting organization, will provide $120,000 to fund four of the 2009 Ontario Stewardship Ranger teams. These teams will work on a variety of forestry-related projects including assessing tree planting sites for the Ministry’s 50 Million Tree program – the single largest commitment to the United Nations Billion Tree Program – and maintaining tree seed orchards.

“We are excited to be a part of the Ontario Stewardship Ranger Program that gives youth hands-on experience and teaches them about the importance of trees to our environment,” said Michael Scott, President and CEO, Trees Ontario. “Nothing is greener than trees, nothing cleans our air faster, greens our landscapes better, and fights global warming harder.”

In addition to the projects, Ministry of Natural Resources staff members and community partners provide tours, training and other educational programs to the Ontario Stewardship Rangers.  Rangers also complete educational modules on leadership and natural resources management.

Ontario Stewardship Rangers must b 17 years of age. This summer’s participants must have been born in 1992.

For more information on the Ontario Stewardship Ranger program or other Ministry of Natural Resources youth employment programs, visit the Youth Programs website at ontario.ca/mnryouthprograms or call 1-800-667-1940.

Ontario Stewardship Ranger Program
The Ontario Stewardship Ranger Program is an eight-week summer job program that offers youth in their 17th year an opportunity to focus on community-based environmental projects working in partnership with stewardship councils, conservation authorities, landowners, local industry, local municipalities and non-government organizations. This program is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2009.

Stewardship Rangers live at home, report to a central work location daily, and travel as a five-person team to different work sites. Work may include restoring wetlands, maintaining trails, building and erecting bird nesting boxes, and conducting research for species at risk and biodiversity projects.

Starting in mid-March, team locations and contact information can be found on the Ministry of Natural Resources Youth Programs web site.  Applicants apply directly to the team of their choice using the contact information.  The application deadline varies among the different team locations, but is between late April and early June.