As things are beginning to get back to normal in this unusual year, we are very excited to announce that our field season is starting and our Conservation Youth Crews are ready to take on some big tasks in four regions of the province.

Each summer for the last 21 years The Nature Trust hires college and university students for our crew. We train them in First Aid, Bear Aware, ecological principles and monitoring techniques, and safe use of power tools and equipment so they can help tackle a wide variety of conservation and management projects on Nature Trust properties  on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and the Kootenay.

The crews perform site maintenance work as well as attending hands-on training workshops from specialists in the field on topics such as bird counts, and forest and wetland ecology. They also contribute to the local community in a variety of ways, especially by cleaning up recreation sites and performing community outreach.

Our crews are also busy assessing the management needs of the properties, installing signage, removing invasive plants, and specialized projects like installing bird boxes.

Climbing through dense blackberry bushes to remove invasive plants or slogging through marshes to test water quality in all kinds of weather can be incredibly hard work. But the rewards come in seeing a black bear and her cubs feeding on salmon at the river’s edge or watching a soaring eagle land on its nest and knowing that you made their habitat a little bit better.

Many of our crew members return for a second field season while they are in school.  And many crew members study conservation and are able to find future employment due to their practical experience. We are proud to say that 8 past crew members work for The Nature Trust.

This year our title sponsor is Wheaton Precious Metals. Their generosity will provide training, gear and salary support.

All crew photos in this post were taken during the 2019 field season, before social distancing measures were implemented

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a leading nonprofit land conservation organization. We protect and care for BC’s most critical habitats for vulnerable wildlife and plants. Since 1971, The Nature Trust and our partners have saved more than 175,000 acres (71,000 hectares) of private land. See our property map for more information on Nature Trust conservation lands.