Taking a hands-on approach together, to build a stronger, greener community

Empowering youth to get their hands dirty, Power To Be and Evergreen BC inspire participants to give back to their community by educating them on the importance of environmental restoration.

Power To Be participants taking part of the District of West Vancouver’s six-week Summer Work Experience and Adventure Program, were given the chance to gain invaluable work experience as they gave back to their community.

Ten youth, aged 13-17 joined Evergreen BC for training on identification and removal of invasive species. The plants targeted for removal were English Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry. Evergreen BC Greenspace Project Manager Julia Gellman educated the youth on the impacts the invasive species have on the local ecosystem, and how they out-compete native species for nutrients and resources. After receiving instruction on tool usage and removal technique, the youth put on their gloves and started digging.

“The youth from Power To Be were determined and focused on the task, some even decided to toss the shovels and hand-pull the English Ivy growing by the trailhead,” Julia says. “Once they got going, they didn’t even want to take breaks.”

Evergreen BC is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental restoration in the surrounding Vancouver community. With a shared focus on creating deep connections between people and nature, this was the third time Power To Be and Evergreen BC came together to educate and empower youth to give back to their community.


“It was a great day” says Allison Hallett, Power To Be Community Development Coordinator. “The participants really get a lot out of the six-week program, including work experience and resume building. The connection with Evergreen BC really encouraged them to take the time to give back to the community moving forward.”

Helping youth from diverse backgrounds to access nature and community, Julia says she’s seen first-hand what the long-lasting effects of environmental stewardship means for the youth involved. Creating a sense of accountability and engagement with the environment empowers a desire to keep the community green moving forward.