New environmental stewardship program for youth launched

The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia launches program for youth

VICTORIA – The Honourable Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, supported by the Government House Foundation, has launched a new program to promote stewardship and environmental awareness among youth.

Stewards of the Future supports and encourages emerging leaders to connect with their environments and explore their own communities to discover and document unique attributes, identify and research key issues of concern, and investigate stewardship initiatives. It promotes the concept of a holistic approach to our endeavors based on respect, relationships and the responsibility of all for the future. Funding and support are available for youth to go on field trips, visit local sites of interest and engage in stewardship projects in their communities. “The goal of this program is to encourage open discussion and gain a better understanding of the issues that affect our natural surroundings,” said Guichon. “It is my hope that through their participation in Stewards of the Future, students will develop a broader understanding of the environmental issues affecting us and consider how we can come together to establish a vision for a sustainable future.” Stewards of the Future is one the Lieutenant Governor’s priority programs and stems from Guichon’s long-standing connection to the land and the importance of biodiversity. Guichon has an extensive background in holistic management and was instrumental in introducing the practice to ranchers in British Columbia. Prior to her appointment as Lieutenant Governor, she operated Gerard Guichon Ranch Limited in the Nicola Valley and was the first female president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association. The program features a toolkit for teachers, leaders and students to inspire and support them in becoming involved in hands-on, place-based explorations of their communities and the stewardship issues relevant to them. The toolkit includes an outline of the overall program process and funds available, a listing of program partners to support their efforts and activities, and tools for students, teachers, and other groups to get engaged. To view the Stewards of the Future toolkit and apply for the program visit www.ltgov.bc.ca Applications for funding for Spring 2015 are due Jan. 23, 2015.