For many kids, a perfect summer is spent outside, exploring forest floors and splashing in the ocean.
This summer, the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s (SPES's) new day camps offer kids a chance to do just that, thanks to almost $27,000 in Job Creation Partnership funding from the B.C. government.
After years of community requests for SPES to offer kids summer camps, government funding is providing work experience for two community events co-ordinators and one day-camp leader to help launch the organization’s new summer program.
Since April, the new workers have developed program marketing materials and registration systems and will continue to support day camp operations and volunteer management over the summer. Starting July 6, they will help kids aged seven to nine become "Animal Detectives" and "Explore the Secret Lives of Plants" in the forests, beaches and wetlands of Stanley Park.
The work experience terms last through the fall and will help SPES offer community educational events like Wild Edibles 101 workshops and bird watching tours. The event co-ordinators will also evaluate the inaugural season of the day camps and help SPES to plan for summer 2016 activities.
Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of BC's Community and Employer Partnerships, which funds projects that increase employability and share labour
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and helps people gain a foothold in the job market. B.C. is reaching a tipping point where more people are leaving the workforce than people entering it. That is why we are taking action now to address this rapidly changing labour market. To date, more than 700 job seekers have benefited from work experience and more than 150 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell -
"Job Creation Partnerships offer participants and organizations a chance to grow and thrive. This project helps the Stanley Park Ecology Society meet a community demand for summer day camps and provides great work experience for its participants."
MLA Vancouver-False Creek Sam Sullivan -
"What better place to go to work every day than Stanley Park. This project provides participants with the opportunity to learn new skills and helps the Stanley Park Ecology Society further its mission to engage their communities and offer educational opportunities in the park."
Stanley Park Ecology Society executive director Patricia Thomson -
"Spanning three decades of experience as the unique education provider for Vancouver’s crown jewel park, Stanley Park Ecology Society has been encouraged to initiate a summer day camp to engage and connect kids with nature. It is at the heart of SPES’s mission that these day camps will help address the well-documented Nature Deficit Disorder of today’s youth: Fun in the forest will nurture physical, mental and emotional health, while inspiring care for our natural environment. SPES is excited and grateful to now finally meet a demand for this program with important capacity through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation Job Creation Partnership program."
Stanley Park Ecology Society community event co-ordinator Nicole Harrison -
"The Job Creation Partnership has provided me with the opportunity to develop my professional experience in the environmental sector. During my time at Stanley Park Ecology Society, I have gained valuable project management skills related to my educational background. Specifically, while working on the SPES day camp project, I have developed new skills in marketing, communications, event planning and scheduling."
- Over eight million people visit the 400-hectare Stanley Park each year.
- For 27 years, the Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) has offered education, research and conservation initiatives to support the stewardship of Stanley Park.
- The new SPES summer day camps run July through August from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for kids aged seven to nine years.
- In 2015-16, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC, launched in April 2013, is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
Who is eligible?
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Municipalities, Agencies or Territorial Governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public Health and Educational Institutions
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
For more information on the Stanley Park Ecological Society: www.stanleyparkecology.ca
Learn more about the Employment Programs of BC: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/programs/epbc/index.htm
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation