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Grand Erie environmental Symposium aims to inspire next generation of eco stewards

A graphic of the earth

Grand Erie District School Board is hosting a youth symposium to inspire and equip secondary students with the skills needed to take meaningful action as environmentally responsible citizens. Taking place on Wednesday (April 11) at Camp Trillium in Waterford, the event will include a keynote speaker and a series of workshops led by local and provincial organizations with the aim of empowering and motivating environmental leadership skills in students.

“We have many students who are involved in environmental action and advocacy within our secondary schools, so this event aims to help them deepen that commitment to the planet,” says Katie Hashimoto, Supervisor of Energy and Environmental Conservation for Facility Services at Grand Erie, which is hosting the event. “What they’ll get out of this is not just inspiration, but tools they can take back to their schools, homes and communities to plan and implement measures that affect positive change.”

Included in the day’s programming is a keynote by Eddy Robinson, Indigenous artist, educator and activist of Anishinaabe/Muskegowuk Cree descent born and raised in Toronto, bringing a unique lens to concepts of environmental stewardship and responsibility.

Grand Erie hosts an environmentally-focused event each year in April, alternating between programming geared towards elementary and secondary students.

“The location is a really important part of the day, too,” points out Hashimoto in reference to Camp Trillium Rainbow Lakes, a wilderness escape in Norfolk County. “Being in nature – with the water, trees and fresh air – really drives home the purpose of the event.”

Grand Erie District School Board includes Environment as one of the key pillars of its current Multi-Year Plan, with goals of improving energy and conservation at all sites, and building a culture of care in all its schools.