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Youth Summit

Held in September each year since 2010, the Youth Summit engages young leaders from dozens of communities across the province.

© Chloe Jakob

2020 Youth Summit for Mother Earth

For the 2020 Youth Summit, Ontario Nature, the Indigenous Environmental Institute at Trent University, Plenty Canada, and Walpole Island Land Trust will be partnering with Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth leaders from across Ontario to offer a unique cross-cultural event.

Prioritizing the health and safety of participants and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic is our top priority. So, we need to offer an alternative to our annual in-person Youth Summit in September. Through conversations with our youth leaders and our Indigenous partners, we have decided to deliver an engaging online event series to develop leadership skills, connect youth with like-minded peers across cultures and build momentum for youth action.

Youth Summit 2019 attendees © Noah Cole

Virtual Youth Summit Details

The 2020 Virtual Youth Summit for Mother Earth will be held as a series of online and offline events, with livestreams on 4 Saturday afternoons from August 22, 2020 to September 19, 2020.

Where: Online
Who: At least 100 youth (aged 14-20) from across Ontario

The summit will feature workshops, keynote speakers, and plenty of group activities and “challenges” to get participants outdoors.

Freshwater life workshop, 2019 Youth Summit © Natalie Rae


SPONSORED YOUTH: If you are being sponsored to participate in the Virtual Youth Summit for the full cost of $150, please register here. You will be prompted for the password that event coordinators gave you.

SUBSIDIZED REGISTRATION: Youth who are not being sponsored to attend can register online at a subsidized rate of $25. Costs are subsidized to limit barriers to attend. Please register here.

Subsidized registration will remain open until Friday, August 14, 2020 or until we reach capacity. Should the registration fee be a barrier to your participation, please contact the event coordinators.

Please contact Christine Ambre and Jackie Ho at christinea@ontarionature.org and jackieh@ontarionature.org or 416-444-8419 ext. 238 if you have any inquiries about sponsorship or questions about registration.

Networking Forum, 2019 Youth Summit © Noah Cole

Highlights from 2019

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. Hosted in partnership with the Youth Council, the event brought together 102 youth from 70 communities to participate in a number of workshops including: biodiversity and youth action, First Nations medicine, careers in conservation and traditional environmental teachings.

Other memorable moments included morning activities like hiking, sketching, canoeing, swimming in Lake Couchiching, and an evening campfire with stories that brought everyone together. Youth Summit participants mingled 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 2019’s keynote speaker, inspired participants to take greater action in their communities.

The Great Group Challenge Champions, Purple Team © Christine Ambre

“While I was at the summit, saving the world was secondary. I was there, in this parallel universe where kids talked to each other about birds and dressed as bees, and looked at spiderwebs instead of at our phones. Besides, you can’t save Mother Earth and forget to love her. The workshops were amazing. When you have all these kids interested in nature— and every kind too, the hippie, the bird nerd, the political activist— meeting and chatting with experts and First Nation Elders, the energy bounces off the walls and it’s impossible not to learn a lot!” – Haidi, age 17, Burlington

Lake Couchiching, Youth Summit 2019 © Delenn Kershaw


Photo Album

Over the past ten 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: