As my oldest daughter Zoë contemplates her post-secondary education, the next few months will be busy ones, as she applies to various universities. She’s keen to follow in her dad’s footsteps, hoping to study Environmental Studies and English in either Ontario or British Columbia. So my radar for youth and the environment was particularly alert when I came across a young boy in Niagara who wants to save a woodlot from being paved over by an unneeded road.
Grade 11 student Colton Tew is quite passionate in his efforts to save the Irish Grove Woodlot in Grimsby. His goal is to protect this landscape from development—specifically, the extension of Livingston Avenue that would cut through the woodlot. So he, along with 30 other students, took part in the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada “Launch and Link” program. After realizing the fragile nature of the Woodlot, he asked the Institute for their help, and in doing so brought the issue to the public.
Because of his incredible tenacity and dedication to protecting an area in the Greenbelt, the Foundation donated $500 towards his project, Save the Woodlot. The investment will help Colton and the organization purchase Carolinian tree and shrub species to be planted at their Spring Open House.
“I feel that it is important for young people to get involved and make a difference in ensuring that there will be a sustainable environment for future generations,” said Colton. “It is gratifying to see the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation being the first to recognize this cause by stepping up to the plate with this donation.”
To fight for a cause at such a young age is undoubtedly inspiring. With such a huge response to his cause, many more are realizing the importance of protecting the Greenbelt; and that, regardless of age, we can all do a little inspiring.