By Sarah Hedges

The 2011 line-up for Ontario Nature’s new Nature Guardians program is packed. Wildly enthusiastic teen participants are organizing five concurrent eco-events that will take place on April 30, the last day of Earth Month. Also in the works are a workshop on nature photography, efforts to protect migratory birds in the city from crashing into buildings, and a summit on biodiversity and sustainable living.

The Nature Guardians program is an educational outreach effort aimed at kids aged five to 18. The program offers a variety of day-long events geared to different age groups. Late last year, Nature Guardian teens formed a Youth Council and held their first meeting at the Toronto Zoo, where they discussed fundraising and campaigning for conservation, and also started planning for conservation volunteering opportunities. Moreover, members of the Youth Council joined Ontario Nature staff at Mountain Equipment Co-op last November to help collect signatures for our Biodiversity Charter for Ontario.

The Nature Guardians program is designed to encourage and develop an ethic of conservation in tomorrow’s environmental leaders. Educational opportunities are provided through outdoor activities, workshops and field trips with Ontario Nature conservation staff. Learn more about this exciting program under “Connect” on our website (www.ontarionature.org).