Empowering Youth to Care for Nature

Land-based education and employment training programs for youth from equity-denied communities.

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Our Mission

Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) is a non-profit based in East Vancouver on the unceded, shared territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. We empower youth from equity-denied communities to become environmental stewards through land-based education and employment training programs that centre on native plant horticulture, ecological restoration, plant medicine, and community leadership.

Explore Our Programs

A young person is standing outside holding a wooden tool for tending to a garden. They are wearing a mask and gardening gloves and are putting up a piece sign with one hand.

Cultivate

Applications on Hold

Free employment skills workshop series for youth ages 16-25 who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, or living with a disability.

A young person is standing outside holding a wooden tool for tending to a garden. They are wearing a mask and gardening gloves and are putting up a piece sign with one hand.
A smiling young woman is standing outside and is holding up a frame with pink flowers inside of it.

Roots & Shoots

Applications on Hold

Paid land-based job training and internship program for youth ages 18-25 who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, or living with a disability.

A smiling young woman is standing outside and is holding up a frame with pink flowers inside of it.
Two young women are wearing masks and standing outside. They are wearing gardening gloves and holding a gardening tool.

Nature Stewards

Now Accepting Applications

Free land-based education programs for youth ages 14-18 from equity seeking communities.

Two young women are wearing masks and standing outside. They are wearing gardening gloves and holding a gardening tool.
Two young women are standing outside in green space. They are smiling.

Peer Mentors

Applications closed for Fall

Volunteer program for youth ages 18-25 from equity-deserving communities who are interested in developing skills in land-based education and youth work.

Two young women are standing outside in green space. They are smiling.
Three youth are outside smiling and showing off their braided grass.

Youth Habitat Crew

Applications Closed for 2023

Paid summer jobs for youth ages 15-25 from equity seeking communities who are interested in developing land-based job skills.

Three youth are outside smiling and showing off their braided grass.
A large group of youth from a school are holding up a project they created while standing and kneeling outside.

School Field Trips

Now Accepting Requests

90-120 minutes of land-based learning for public school classes at EYA’s programming sites in Strathcona Community Gardens or Renfrew Ravine.

A large group of youth from a school are holding up a project they created while standing and kneeling outside.

Youth remove invasive plants and steward the land.

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News & Stories

Join our newsletter to receive updates on our programs, invites to community workshops, and opportunities to support our work and receive youth-grown native plants.

Attendees of the annual general meeting are surrounded by trees and seated on chairs in a circle.

You're invited to our 2024 Annual General Meeting!

Join us in the gardens for an evening of food and conversations! You’ll meet EYA staff and board members, learn about our programs, and help us elect Board Directors.

Youth participants Vaibhavi and Arianne in the greenhouse at Strathcona Community Gardens, holding up a potted plant and smiling.

Reflections from EYA Youth: Vaibhavi and Arianne

As our Spring programs wrapped up, Nature Stewards youth participants Vaibhavi and Arianne joined us in the Strathcona Community Gardens greenhouse to share reflections on their program experience. Read about their program highlights, advice for other youth, and plans for the future!

A lupine plant in a terracotta-coloured plastic pot is sitting on a wooden shelf to the left. There are plants in black plastic pots sitting on a shelf in the background.

We’re hiring a Manager, Sites & Stewardship!

Are you inspired by engaging equity-denied youth in land-based stewardship and urban rewilding? Do you have experience with project management in ecological restoration, native plant horticulture, or Indigenous plant knowledge? Do you feel excited about leading EYA’s team and youth in connecting with and tending to land on Vancouver’s eastside?

A closeup shot of small nursery pots with growing plants.

We're hiring a Manager, Fundraising & Communications!

Are you a skilled fundraiser inspired by land-based education and equitable access to nature? Do you want to play a role in the continued growth of our organization and youth programs?

Yarrow flower head viewed from the side in focus.

Join our Board of Directors!

Are you inspired by land-based education for equity-denied youth? Are you ready to step into a leadership role? Do you want to support local youth to lead the transition to a more just and sustainable future? We’re looking for a community member with experience and expertise in law to join our board of directors!

Close-up of Nootka Rose plant

Cultivating Climate Resilience

In the bustling urban landscape, amidst concrete and steel, nature’s resilience shines through in the form of native plants like the Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana). As we enter a new youth programming season, we are excited to feature this native plant that embodies the spirit of resilience and sustainability!

We're hiring a Program Manager, Land-based Education!

Are you inspired by land-based education for equity-deserving youth? Are you a confident youth facilitator? Do you have experience managing teams and/or projects? We’re looking for someone to lead our land-based education team in delivering our youth education and stewardship programs.

Photo of EYA youth participants gardening in a field.

EYA's Relationship with the Vancouver Park Board

Learn how EYA works with the Vancouver Park Board and how we could be affected by changes.

A packet of pearly everlasting seeds leaned against a tree.

A Guide To Our Youth-Grown Native Plant Seeds

Got your hands on some native plant seeds and not sure what to do? Don't worry! We'll tell you all about their growing needs, and much more!

Two youth face the camera holding a yellow calendula flower. A video play button is in the centre of the image

Watch and Learn with Youth Habitat Crew!

Watch this play list of short education videos on medicinal plants, honourable harvest, and weaving with invasive species!

Five Board members stand alongside one another for a photo with green foliage in the background.

Read our 2022 Annual Impact Report!

We’re still glowing from all the warm fuzzies at our AGM last night, where we officially released our latest Annual Report!

EYA staff team members

You're invited to our Annual General Meeting!

For the first time since 2019, our AGM will be held in person at Strathcona Community Gardens! We’d love for you to join us on Wednesday, July 26th at 6pm.

Hear it from our youth!

In this video, four participants talk about their strengthened relationship with nature, the skills they learned, and what they enjoyed the most about the program.

Introducing our new Co-Executive Directors!

As we say a heartfelt farewell to our Executive Director of almost seven years, Emily Keller, we’re excited to introduce EYA’s new Co-Executive Directors - Erica Ellis & Carmen Wong!

Watch online: Native Plant Garden Design

Guided by botanist Kristen Miskelly of Satinflower Nurseries, this workshop will share key considerations on caring for native plants and discuss how plants can support biodiversity across a variety of urban habitats.

A laptop graphic with our website open on the browser, with a pink background.

Introducing our new brand and website!

Our colourful new brand reflects EYA’s youthful identity and honours the land we steward.

And the winner is…EYA!

Charity Village awards EYA Best Youth Engagement Organization (under 20 staff) for 2022.

A group shot of EYA's team wearing t-shirts with the EYA logo. They are sitting and standing outdoors and posing.

Support our Winter Fundraiser!

Help us open the doors for equity-deserving youth pursuing land-based livelihoods.

A group of youth are standing at a shallow point in a creek. One of them is wearing a purple EYA shirt. One of them in the foreground is holding a yellow net.

Rewilding Still Creek

This spring and summer, 169 dedicated youth have been contributing to the ongoing restoration of native habitat along Still Creek – a three year project in partnership with Still Moon Arts Society.

A group of seven youth participants of the Youth Habitat Crew are posing outside surrounded by trees and plants.

Meet our Youth Habitat Crew

Meet EYA's Youth Habitat Crew: five inspiring youth who joined our team this summer for a three-month paid internship.

Two young women wearing high visibility vests are standing and kneeling outside near trees. One of them is holding metal pegs with red flags at the top of them.

Community-led Urban Wetland Project

The project, in partnership with Strathcona Community Gardens, will increase climate resilience in the Downtown Eastside by creating a wetland ecosystem that will reduce flood risks, and increase biodiversity and Indigenous foodscapes.

Closeup of yarrow plants.

Plant Relative: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow has a long history of being used medicinally around the world, including by many First Nations and the ancient Greeks. This plant relative is one of our favourites to grow in our youth programs.

Closeup of the nodding onion plant including three flowers.

Plant Relative: Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum)

Nodding Onion is an edible native plant with a similar taste to onion and chives. This plant relative can be found in many of our garden beds and meadows.

Closeup of a wild strawberry plant including the flower and fruit.

Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)

Strawberries aren't just delicious, the whole plant has many medicinal uses, too!

Closeup of a salmonberry plant including the fruit.

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)

We love to snack on salmonberry in our programs, but always remember to leave plenty for the birds and other wildlife that rely on this foodsource.

Closeup of purple lupine flowers.

Big Leaf Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

Lupine is often grown in our youth programs. They’re easy to grow from seed and germinating lupine seeds is an excellent learning experience.

A portrait of a young person holding up a small woven basket.

2021 Year in Review and Annual Report

We reflect back on the year and invite you to read our Annual Impact Report!

Help Youth Care for the Environment

We value every gift equally.
Join us as a supporter.

A group of youth are standing outside holding various gardening tools like rakes and shovels. Some of them are wearing t-shirts with the EYA dandelion icon.
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