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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

Youth Summit 2018 © Daynan Lepore

2019 Youth Summit

Join Ontario Nature and the Youth Council for our tenth annual Youth Summit for Biodiversity by beautiful Lake Couchiching. In addition to spending time outdoors, highlights include:

  • Interactive workshops and activities on topics including traditional medicine, freshwater ecology and environmental action.
  • A networking forum for participants to connect and share ideas with local youth.
  • A high energy Great Group Challenge that will have you facing off in eco-inspired challenges.
  • Meeting diverse young leaders with similar interests from across Ontario!
Networking Forum © Daynan Lepore

Weekend Details

When: September 20-22, 2019
Where: YMCA Geneva Park, near Orillia, Ontario
Who: 100 youth across the province

Children in the woods workshop with Skid Crease © Noah Cole


SPONSORED YOUTH: If you are being sponsored to attend the Youth Summit for the full cost of $375, please register here. You will be prompted for the password that Ontario Nature gave you.

SUBSIDIZED REGISTRATION: Subsidized registration is now closed for the 2019 Youth Summit. If you would like to be added the waiting list or have any inquiries about sponsorship, please contact Christine.

Please contact Christine at christinea@ontarionature.org if you have any inquiries about sponsorship or questions about registration.

Dipnetting in Lake Couchiching, Freshwater Life workshop © Noah Cole

Highlights from 2018

On September 21–23, 2018, environmental leaders from across the province came together at YMCA Geneva Park in Orillia for Ontario Nature’s ninth annual youth summit. The event, partnered with the Youth Council, allowed 106 youth from 74 communities to participate in workshops including: pollinators, Aboriginal clan systems, zero waste living and the urgency need to address climate change.

Other memorable moments included morning activities like bird watching, yoga, swimming in Lake Couchiching, and an evening campfire with stories and songs to bring everyone together. The Green Team won the Great Group Challenge trophy, and participants were able to discuss sustainability, citizen science and local initiatives during the networking forum. Chloe Dragon Smith, the keynote speaker from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, inspired youth to get outdoors as we are all nature.

Green team, Great Group Challenge © Daynan Lepore

“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

Ontario Nature Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership 2018

Over the past nine Youth Summits, we have engaged young people from 178 communities across Ontario.

Thank you to our Nature Network member groups and others whose financial support has made the 2018 Youth Summit possible:

Bancroft Field Naturalists Nature Guelph
Bert Miller Nature Club of Fort Erie Nature League of Collingwood
Blue Mountain Watershed Trust Foundation Nature London
Brodie Club North American Native Plant Society
Carden Field Naturalists North Durham Nature Club
Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society
Charleston Lake Environmental Association Ontario Field Ornithologists
Conservation Sudbury Orillia Naturalists’ Club
Credit Valley Conservation Authority Ottawa Field Naturalists
Four Seasons Conservancy Owen Sound Field Naturalists
Friends of Charleston Lake Park Pembroke Area Field Naturalists
Friends of Frontenac Park Pickering Naturalists
Friends of MacGregor Point Park Port Hope Rotary
Friends of Mashkinonje The Quetico Foundation
Friends of Minesing Wetland Quinte Field Naturalists
Friends of Nancy Island & Wasaga Beach Park Rankin Resource Group
Friends of Ojibway Prairie Saugeen Nature
Friends of Salmon River Sault Naturalists’ Club of Ontario & Michigan
Halton/North Peel Naturalists Science North
Hamilton Naturalists’ Club South Peel Naturalists Club
Ingersoll District Nature Club St. Ignatius High School
Kawartha Field Naturalists St. Thomas Field Naturalists Inc.
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority Sudbury Naturalists
Leeds Grenville Stewardship Council Sydenham Field Naturalists
Lennox & Addington Stewardship Council Thickson’s Woods Land Trust
Long Point Biosphere Reserve Foundation Toronto Field Naturalists
Manitoulin Nature Club Toronto Ornithological Club
Master Naturalist Program at Lakehead University Vankleek Hill Nature Society
Midland Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Waterloo Region Nature
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists Willow Beach Field Naturalists
Mycological Society of Toronto York Environmental Stewardship
Nature Barrie (Brereton Field Naturalists Club) York-Simcoe Nature Club

The success of the 2018 Youth Summit would not be possible without the contributions from the following program sponsors:

The Chawkers Foundation