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Youth Summit

Each September, Ontario Nature hosts the Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership for high school students from across the province

© Chloe Jakob

2019 Youth Summit for Biodiversity

On September 20-22, 2019, environmental leaders from across the province came together at YMCA Geneva Park near Orillia for Ontario Nature’s tenth annual youth summit. The event, partnered with the Youth Council, allowed 102 youth from 70 communities to participate in a number of workshops including:

  • Biodiversity and youth action
  • Discovering nature
  • Power to affect change
  • First Nations medicine
  • Traditional environmental teachings
  • Freshwater ecology
  • BioBlitz competition
  • Environmental visual communication
  • The urgency to address climate change
  • Migratory birds
  • Leadership insights
  • Careers in conservation
  • Zero waste living
Youth Summit 2019 attendees © Noah Cole

Highlights from 2019

Other memorable moments included morning activities like nature hikes, sketching, canoeing, swimming in Lake Couchiching, and an evening campfire with stories to bring everyone together. Youth Summit participants were able to discuss ideas with their peers in the Networking Forum and the Great Group Challenge had teams facing off in fun activities. Moe Qureshi, Youth Council alumni and this year’s keynote speaker, inspired participants to take greater action in their communities.

The Great Group Challenge Champions, Purple Team © Christine Ambre

2020 Youth Summit Registration

Please check back for updates about the 2020 Youth Summit. If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring the event in 2020, please contact Christine Ambre, Conservation and Education Coordinator, at 416-444-8419 ext. 244 or christinea@ontarionature.org

Freshwater life workshop, 2019 Youth Summit © Natalie Rae

“I had the opportunity to meet many individuals in my age group who share the same passion for protecting the environment. Often, as a youth, we think that we are alone and no one else shares this passion of sustainability and our voices remain unheard. It is with Youth Summits like these that we can really notice that this is not the case and that together we can make a difference and shape our future for the better.” – Joseph, age 17, Sudbury

Sunrise over Lake Couchiching, Youth Summit 2018 © Noah Cole


Photo Album

Over the past nine Youth Summits, we have engaged youth from 197 communities across Ontario.

Youth Summit for Biodiversity 2019


Thank you to our Nature Network member groups and others whose financial support has made the 2019 Youth Summit possible:

  • Beaverton Horticultural Society 
  • Bert Miller Nature Club of Fort Erie
  • Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation
  • Brodie Club
  • Carden Field Naturalists
  • Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority
  • Charleston Lake Environmental Association
  • Credit Valley Conservation
  • Durham Region Field Naturalists
  • Friends of Charleston Lake Park
  • Friends of Frontenac Park
  • Friends of Lake Superior Park
  • Friends of MacGregor Point Park
  • Friends of Mashkinonje
  • Friends of Nancy Island & Wasaga Beach Park
  • Friends of Ojibway Prairie
  • Friends of Salmon River
  • Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
  • Halton/North Peel Naturalists
  • Hamilton Naturalists’ Club
  • Huron Fringe Field Naturalists
  • Ingersoll District Nature Club
  • Kawartha Field Naturalists
  • Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
  • Leeds Grenville Stewardship Council
  • Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council
  • Long Point Biosphere Reserve Foundation
  • Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists
  • Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
  • Municipality of York Region
  • Nature Barrie (Brereton Field Naturalists Club)
  • Nature Guelph
  • Nature League of Collingwood
  • Nature London
  • North American Native Plant Society
  • North Durham Nature Club
  • Ontario Field Ornithologists
  • Orde Street Public School
  • Orillia Naturalists’ Club
  • Ottawa Field Naturalists
  • Owen Sound Field Naturalists
  • Pembroke Area Field Naturalists
  • Peterborough Field Naturalists Club
  • Pickering Naturalists
  • Port Hope Rotary
  • Quinte Field Naturalists
  • Rankin Resource Group
  • Saugeen Nature
  • South Peel Naturalists Club
  • Sudbury Naturalists
  • Thickson’s Woods Land Trust
  • Thunder Bay Field Naturalists
  • Toronto Field Naturalists
  • Toronto Ornithological Club
  • Vankleek Hill and District Nature Society
  • Waterloo Region Nature
  • Willow Beach Field Naturalists
  • York-Simcoe Nature Club

The success of the 2019 Youth Summit would not be possible without the contributions from the following program sponsors: