A new award honouring the memory of Micah Messent will be given out annually by the Canadian Parks Council with funding support from BC Parks.
The Micah Messent Young Professional Award of Excellence will recognize a young employee, intern, contractor or volunteer from a Canadian Parks Council member agency. The winner will have demonstrated leadership in managing protected areas and a passionate commitment to environmental stewardship and conservation awareness, youth leadership and internal capacity development, and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
“Micah was proud to come from a family with a rich history of working and spending time in national parks and taking care of our natural environment,” said Micah’s family in a statement. “Micah’s grandfather Frank Camp began his career as a warden in Jasper National Park and worked in several national parks over a span of 35 years, with his final posting being superintendent of Pacific Rim National Park. While Micah was travelling through B.C. presenting Indigenous relations workshops for BC Parks, he was touched at how many people either knew or had worked with his Grandpa Frank. Micah shared his grandfather’s passion for the environment and our parks system, and we appreciate there will be an award in Micah’s name that recognizes the positive impact he made in his young life.”
Messent was a young BC Parks employee who was travelling to Kenya to participate in the United Nations Environment Assembly and meet with youth and leaders from around the world when he lost his life in a tragic accident.
BC Parks, through the Park Enhancement Fund, is creating an endowment of $20,000 that will be used to fund the award annually.
“Micah was a bright light in the BC Parks family who left an impression on those he worked with in a short amount of time,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Micah was enthusiastic about the environment as well as promoting cultural awareness and reconciliation within BC Parks. Naming an award after Micah will help honour his legacy of conservation, protecting our parks and environment and advancing reconciliation.”
This new award will celebrate young professionals who show the same kind of influence and potential as Messent. Recipients will be between the ages of 18-30 and will have demonstrated action that has helped to engage and connect people with nature. The award was announced at the Canadian Parks Council’s Annual General Meeting in Quebec on Oct. 7, 2019.
“Today’s announcement and the establishment of this new award honours Micah’s formidable character and passion for nature, and his significant contribution to the parks community will be remembered annually as we collectively celebrate his gifts through the service of others,” said Dawn Carr, executive director, Canadian Parks Council. “On behalf of the Canadian Parks Council family, we are humbled and truly delighted to pay tribute to such an extraordinary individual with an extraordinary vision.”
Messent was a recent graduate of Vancouver Island University. In addition to his role with BC Parks, he was involved in broader conservation initiatives as a youth leader with the Ocean Bridge program, a proponent of diversity and inclusion in the outdoors, and a Canadian youth delegate to the UN Environment Assembly.
For more about BC Parks, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/learn-more/
Since 1962, federal, provincial and territorial governments have collaborated through the Canadian Parks Council to promote excellence in parks and protected areas management, advance park and protected area values and interests, and celebrate the significant contributions of member agencies and the professionals they represent. For more information, visit: www.parks-parcs.ca