New Student Ranger Program launched in B.C.

Applications now being accepted

VICTORIA – Young people throughout British Columbia will have an opportunity to acquire a diverse range of job skills while working in the province’s spectacular natural environment, through the new BC Parks Student Ranger Program.

This is the first program established with the proceeds that were generated from specialty BC Parks licence plate sales.

“We are giving young adults a chance to gain important job skills in some of the most beautiful parks and protected areas British Columbia has to offer,” said George Heyman, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Student rangers will help protect sensitive ecosystems, while preserving the natural, cultural and historical values that British Columbians cherish.”

Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the Student Ranger Program provides youth training and employment opportunities for 48 young adults in B.C.’s parks and protected areas, with a 30 per cent Indigenous hiring target. The program, which is now accepting applications, offers hands-on work experience in a diverse range of projects related to conservation, recreation, community outreach and Indigenous relations.

“Canada’s future prosperity depends on young Canadians getting the skills and experience they need to succeed. Creating meaningful green job opportunities for young Canadians will help them enhance their skills and save money to pay for their education,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, Parliamentary Secretary to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

The Province is contributing annual funding of $610,000 over two years from the proceeds of the BC Parks Licence Plate program. Additional funding of approximately $260,000 through 2019-20 will be provided by a partnership between Project Learning Tree Canada and the Canadian Parks Council, through the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program.

Student rangers will focus on a wide variety of meaningful projects, including:

* Ecosystem restoration and invasive species control;

* Trail building and maintenance;

* Conservation monitoring projects; and

* Public outreach.

Student Rangers must be a Canadian Resident between the age of 18 and 30; a fulltime student at Secondary or Post-Secondary School; inspired to conserve and enhance B.C.’s parks and protected areas; able to work outdoors as part of a tight-knit team; passionate about developing cross-cultural understandings of B.C.’s diverse Indigenous population.

Eight teams of student rangers will work in regions around the province, including Prince George, Smithers, Kamloops, Victoria (Goldstream Provincial Park), Black Creek, Manning Park, North Vancouver and Squamish.

Crew lead and crew member positions will begin in late May and early June, and will continue work throughout the summer season.

The B.C. government is reinvesting all net proceeds from the sale, and ongoing renewals of BC Parks licence plates, back into provincial parks, to ensure meaningful action is taken to protect the environment and achieve B.C.’s conservation goals. The Student Ranger Program is the first in a series of projects funded through the BC Parks Licence Plate program that will be unveiled in the coming year.

“As the first type of specialty licence plate of its kind, we are proud that, due to the fervent support of British Columbians, the BC Parks plates program has, and will continue to, provide opportunities like this to enhance, protect and conserve our parks and land,” said Nicolas Jimenez, interim president and CEO of ICBC.

For more information on the Student Ranger Program, including job requirements and the application form, visit: http://gov. bc.ca/bcparks-student-rangers

For more information about BC Parks specialty licence plates, visit: http://www.icbc.com/vehicle- registration/licence-plates/ Pages/bc-parks-plates.aspx

Source: Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Employment and Social Development Canada

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