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YCC Expressions

Youth Climate Corps Newsletter

- August 2022 Issue -

What an outstanding season for the eighteen YCC crew members, the two astonishing program coordinators, Melissa Lavery and Tim Chapman, the communities of West Kootenay and Kimberley-Cranbrook areas, our fantastic partners, and all people impacted by the important actions accomplished during the past months! Some crew members are finishing the program next week and took the time to share a bit about their experience with us in the "Youth Voices" section below.

Youth Voices

Hannah & Ivy, members of Kimberly/Cranbrook YCC, are finishing their contract by August; the rest of the crew will be working till mid-October. Hannah and Ivy shared a bit about their experience.

"So many things to mention! I especially liked the variety of projects we have been working on. It is a real opportunity that most regular jobs don't offer. It is going to be so helpful in so many ways. I gained a lot of experience in various types of work, and it helped me figure out what I enjoy the most. It reiterates my career's alignment. I am now even more excited to start school in the Integrated Environmental Planning program." 

- Hannah Krausz, YCC Kimberley-Cranbrook, 2022

"Our coordinator helped us get comfortable together as a team and pushed us to ask many questions. From this experience, I feel much more engaged. My highlight of the summer is all the people and experts we had the chance to meet and to realize, from their background, what kind of career you can create with our ever-evolving climate situation. It is really inspiring to meet all those people. Something that uplifted me was to visit a farm and learn how to manage this unique lifestyle."

- Ivy Desbioles, YCC Kimberley-Cranbrook, 2022

Interview With Our YCC Coordinators

This second season for both Mel & Tim has been filled with successful projects. The outcomes of every single project of this summer have outstanding value for the communities it involves! 

Tim Chapman, Kimberley/Cranbrook Youth Climate Corps Coordinator

This year, the significant difference was the completely different generation of hired youth, a decade younger than last year's crew members' age. Tim learned a lot about developing other ways of communicating throughout the season. He underlines that from his experience, communication methods are the major difference between all generations. As Tim mentioned: "My faith in younger people keeps increasing! The workforce is absolutely exceptional. Never discount young people! Give them a chance and space for them to be heard!" The outcomes of this summer's projects are tangible and even grandiose! You guys (YCC crew) should be proud of what you accomplished during summertime, talk about it, and go revisit the sites in a few years from now!" Part of the projects that will perdure in time is the two acres of wildfire risk reduction, improving habitat for years and the basins built for the wetland that will still be used in ten years, see "Project Highlight in Kimberley-Cranbrook" section below. 

Thank you, Tim, for leading the Kimberley/Cranbrook Youth Climate Corps. Your role is necessary, and we admire your patience and determination. Learn more about Tim Chapman


Mel Lavery, West Kootenay Youth Climate Corps Coordinator

Mel's most significant highlight of the season was the flexibility to thrive in diverse programming throughout the season and respond to the communities' needs. Also, ideas from last season were implemented this year to evolve and improve the program. 

Mel mentioned: "I really enjoyed the finalization of the different projects. Seeing the amount of work that can be done with a group of twelve people is stunning. Our Bannock in Bloom Agroforestry project is a good example of how we are powerful together. Also, I genuinely admired the talented local people with so much awareness of what can be done regionally for food security and energy efficiency. We were incredibly grateful for the knowledge they shared with us. This year was such a big learning experience for me by being the point person between the different partners, organizations, and communities while supervising the participants. I am already looking for new projects and opportunities for next year and how we can optimize the programming by handing on even more leadership to the next crew!"

Thank you, Mel, for leading the West Kootenay Youth Climate Corps. Your role is essential, and we esteem your communication skills and perseverance. Learn more about Mel Lavery  

Project Highlight in Kimberley-Cranbrook

The Kimberley/Cranbrook crew has been working on the Nature Trust BC Big Ranch property, assisting with a wetland build. The construction involved multiple steps, including laying out a liner that will assist in holding in rainfall and runoff next Spring. This will create crucial habitats and water sources for ungulates, amphibians, waterfowl, and much more wildlife in the Kootenays. The final layer of the earth laid on top is seeded with native plants to protect the liner below and mimic a natural wetland.

Kimberley/Cranbrook - Construction of a wetland 

Project Highlight in West Kootenay

In our Bannock in Bloom Agroforestry project, the West Kootenay crew worked on collecting fallen trees to be used as fence posts. They worked alongside Kalesnikoff to collect fallen Cedars courtesy of the BC Wildfire service from a previous wildfire location in Deer Creek. With these trees, our crew debarked, dug and installed fence posts that will act as a protective barrier for our agroforestry project, keeping the wildlife away from the fruiting shrubs previously planted on site. The amount of work the folks have done is substantial. The land is two acres, and the fence built is 350 meters radius. Planting locally native fruit plants that are comestible provides confidence in the future for communities in the area. 


YCC will be at UBCM! Come meet us. Please get in touch with Ben to schedule a private meeting. The convention is scheduled to take place September 12th - 16th in Whistler, BC.

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