Chatham / Mount Brydges – With the generous financial assistance of Federal and Provincial government grants and community partnerships, nine youth have been hired to gain valuable work experience at the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) offices.
The provincial Summer Experience Program through the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry provided $6,114 for two students to work seven weeks each at our Administration Office in Chatham. Brandon Wijsman (from Chatham) was hired to assist with land stewardship projects, tree planting and wetland restoration. Mike McKerrall (from Dresden) assists with GIS mapping at the same office.
The federal Canada Summer Jobs program provided two grants to the LTVCA. A grant of $3,150 allowed for an eight week Environmental Policy and Planning Assistant position. Laura Brown (from Toronto) works in this capacity at the Chatham office. A second grant of $7,120 hired two students to work at Longwoods Road Conservation Area / Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum, just outside of Mount Brydges. One student, Beth Young (from Mount Brydges) was hired for eight weeks as a Community Outreach Coordinator and the second student, Christine Langille (also from Mount Brydges) received eight weeks of employment as a Community Outreach Assistant. These 2 students help with visitor programs and take displays to community events.
Through another Federal program, a Young Canada Works in Heritage grant of $3,203 provided funds to hire an Exhibit Design Assistant for ten weeks at Longwoods Road Conservation Area / Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum. Leeanne Doxtator (from Parkhill) assists in research and design of a new display featuring artifacts donated from the community.
The LTVCA was also fortunate to hire Dan Brinkman (from Chatham) on a $2,200 grant from Goodwill Career Focus which subsidized four work weeks. Dan works from the Longwoods Road Conservation Area Workshop as a general labourer at our conservation areas in the eastern part of the watershed this summer.
And finally, with funding from Greenlane Community Fund (2015), the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation (2016), $8,612 has hired 2 students for 8 weeks each for the Heritage Build Project Phase 1 at Ska-Nah-Doht Village. Colin and Justin DeZwart (from Kerwood) are assisting with laying bark coverings on the longhouses, installing a new palisade maze and creating interactive displays to bring the past to life for visitors.
The LTVCA is grateful to have received this funding as it provides increased capacity – enabling important research and development for our conservation programs. In return, local students receive valuable work experience in office and field situations working alongside senior conservation staff, as well as health and safety training for their particular jobs.
For Further Information Contact:
Todd Casier – Financial Services Supervisor – Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority