Project Learning Tree (PLT) Canada has a mission to educate youth about our forests and inspire a passion for the great outdoors. While youth today are being educated on the importance of our environment, the central role that forests play in all our lives is still not well understood.

Reconnecting leads to understanding

As we celebrate National Forest Week, it’s important to remember the critical role that sustainably-managed forests play in cleaning our water and air, storing carbon, providing products from well-managed renewable resources, growing communities, and supporting families through career and employment opportunities. Forests are the answer to so many of our local and global challenges.

With 80 percent of Canadians living in urban areas, it’s important to spend time in forests and get back in touch with nature. PLT Canada is committed to providing opportunities for educators to incorporate environmental education into children’s lives as early as possible through resources, activities, and professional development. It wants to see all children grow a connection to our forests and nature. In fact, in British Columbia, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has been working with the organization to engage with youth across the province for several years.

PLT Canada doesn’t teach kids what to think — it teaches them how to think. In making them more connected to our forests and the natural environment, PLT Canada is doing its part to inspire the next generation of future forest and conservation leaders.

Sparking interest and engagement

This summer, thanks to funding from the Government of Canada’s Green Jobs in Green Spaces program, PLT placed over 700 students in green jobs across Canada. Students worked in positions ranging from wildlife management to conservation research, education, silviculture and forest management, and recreation.

Nothing beats working outdoors. Students placed in green job positions learn that celebrating and managing our beautiful forests while taking care of our animals and plants is one of the most fulfilling jobs available. Providing youth with meaningful work experiences and career opportunities in the forest and conservation sectors can instill a lifelong passion for the outdoors and spark an interest in environmental stewardship that benefits our communities, our forests, and our economy while securing our future prosperity.

PLT Canada placed students in green jobs thanks to a partnership with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) and the Canadian Parks Council. SFI is an independent, non-profit organization that provides supply chain assurances, delivers conservation leadership, and supports environmental education and community engagement. The Canadian Parks Council brings together Canada’s national, provincial, and territorial park agencies to ensure that Canadians can continue to be proud of the role parks and protected areas play in preserving our country’s natural capital.

We can achieve more by working together.