Wildsight’s Youth Climate Corps (YCC) is looking for young adults interested in taking direct action to tackle the global climate crisis and support local community needs, all while getting paid to do so.
Starting this May, crew members in Kimberley/Cranbrook will address solutions to the climate emergency, with skills and certifications to combat climate change in fields such as wildfire work, food, energy, ecology, and more, as well as receive training in leadership, teamwork, and communication. No prior experience is required.
“We’re looking for passionate people, not experience,” says Tim Chapman, YCC Kimberley/Cranbrook coordinator. “We give crews the training to launch their career, and the more opportunities we can provide through this program, the better.”
Wildsight ran its first Kimberley/Cranbrook Youth Climate Corps in 2021. Cranbrook resident Amanda Weatherall says YCC allowed her to explore her passions for the environment and climate change mitigation.
“It was a great learning experience,” says Weatherall. “I enjoyed the diversity of opportunities.”
Fellow crew member Kaylee Coates agrees: “I enjoyed being outside, going to new places and learning all along the way,” the Kimberley resident reflects.
“I didn’t know what to anticipate and, honestly, YCC blew me away!” – Kaylee Coates
This is a four-month contract, with potential for extension. Crew members will receive valuable employment and core employability skills training with Kootenay Employment Services’ Ignite program. There will be theory and practice of food sustainability with partners at the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Dept, Cranbrook Food Recovery, as well as Wildsight’s Kimberly/Cranbrook branch. The team will also work on wildfire risk mitigation and monitoring in the Kimberley Nature Park.
Youth Climate Corps directly benefits the local environment and community. Last year’s crew helped bridge the gap between wildfire risk management work in the region and knowing what happens in the forest after these treatments take place, ultimately surveying more than 600 plots that can be extrapolated to approximately 2,000 hectares of wildfire information. They picked more than 453 kg of cherries to distribute through healthy food recovery programs, and supported other local food efforts. They partnered with Living Lakes Canada to undertake water monitoring and ecosystem enhancement in the Columbia Wetlands. And crew members gained a deeper understanding of the local ecosystem, and the opportunities available to take action directly in our community.
“It was a great experience, where you are paid to take part in practices that benefit our local environment and communities,” says crew member Noah Ko.
This season will expand on some of last years’ work, with the potential for new partnerships and projects along the way too. Wildsight’s goal through YCC is to not just complete projects, but to help empower a generation and enable future climate action.
Speaking to Kimberley Council in March, Chapman said, “The more fields we can expose them to, the more successful the program will be. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”
Applicants must be between 17-30 at the start of the contract; be unemployed or precariously employed, be entitled to work in Canada, and be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Applications are due by April 11. To learn more, see wildsight.ca/ycc and kes.bc.ca/CMS2/ignite