What We Do
We provide free land-based education and paid employment training programs that support youth to develop the skills and confidence to become environmental stewards. Our programs centre on three themes - native plant horticulture, ecological restoration, and plant medicine. All programs integrate Indigenous teachings and land stewardship protocols through visits from Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. EYA programs are led by youth who identify as Indigenous, Black, and/or People of Colour.
Why We Do It
Our award-winning work is guided by the principles of intersectional environmentalism. We recognize that youth from equity-deserving communities are disproportionately harmed by environmental crises but are often systemically excluded from environmental advocacy and careers. Our programs honour and centre the voices of youth from equity-deserving communities in land stewardship and create spaces where youth can pursue their passions and apply their knowledge and lived experiences to care for the land. Through this, we aim to support a more equitable and inclusive environmental movement that recognizes the intersections of social and environmental justice.
Where We Work
We work on the unceded, shared territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations, in what is known as East Vancouver. Our programs take place in two urban public green spaces - Strathcona Community Gardens and Renfrew Ravine. Strathcona Community Gardens is a 1.4 hectare community-run greenspace in East Vancouver with a native plant teaching garden, greenhouse and native plant nursery, plant medicine gardens, rewilding areas, and solar-powered eco-classroom. Renfrew Ravine is a forested ravine in southeast Vancouver with a section of Still Creek running through it, a plant dye garden, and rewilding areas.
Who We Are
EYA was founded by a local high school youth in 1989. We are deeply committed to equity and inclusion and ensuring the youth who participate in our programs are represented on board and staff team. 75% of our board and staff team identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and/or LGBTQ2S+. 60% of our board members are youth and we have a Youth Advisory Circle composed of former youth participants who advise our work.
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