Skip to main content

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


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 a number of workshops including:

  • Pollinators and youth action
  • Amphibian surveys
  • Power to affect change and leadership insights
  • Traditional medicine
  • Learning about Aboriginal clan systems
  • Freshwater ecology
  • The urgency to address climate change
  • Birds of prey
  • Zero waste living
Networking Forum © Daynan Lepore


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 Great Group Challenge had teams facing off in fun activities. Youth Summit participants were able to connect and discuss ideas with their peers in the Networking Forum.

Chloe Dragon Smith, the keynote speaker from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, inspired youth to get outdoors as we are all nature.

Children in the woods workshop with Skid Crease © Noah Cole

“The Youth Summit connected me with ways that I can fight to help the environment. I am working to start an environment club in my school to help spread some of what I learned and to act on my own ideas/ ideas from others. I hope to make my community a more environmentally conscious place by spreading awareness of the need to conserve nature and natural areas.” – Matthew, age 17, Ottawa

Whimbrels © Raymond Brow CC BY 2.0

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

The Chawkers Foundation

2019 Youth Summit for Biodiversity

Please check back for updates about the 2019 Youth Summit. If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring the event in 2019, please contact Christine Ambre, Conservation and Education Coordinator, at 416-444-8419 ext. 244 or