25 years of summer employment opportunities for youth that also help the environment

CITY of Surrey’s Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP) and Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP) are celebrating notable anniversaries in offering summer youth employment opportunities that build awareness and training in environmental stewardship.  Collectively, the programs have employed over 880 students, who have received training in environmental restoration practices such as removing invasive plants, installing instream complexing features in waterways, and planting.

“I’m very proud to continue Surrey’s tradition of employing our youth as environmental stewards,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “Not only do the students receive hands-on environmental field skills training, but they also develop skills in leadership, teamwork, and communications, which will help them in any future career endeavor. These programs no doubt shape the environmental leaders of the future.”

Over its 25 years, SHaRP has employed over 665 students and dedicated over 254,000 stewardship hours toward watershed sustainability and healthy salmon habitats. Efforts have included revitalizing over 2,625 instream sites within Surrey; delivering over 1,000 presentations at community‑based events, day camps, libraries and schools; and educating over 9,000 homeowners and businesses in environmental protection. 

SNAP has employed over 215 students over the past 20 years, collectively educating over 185,000 residents through community outreach.  Together, students have removed 3,421 m3 of invasive plants from eight hectares of parkland and restored over 4,646 tree wells. SNAP is a partnership between the City and non-profit organizations including Green Timbers Heritage Society, which administers the program, the Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society and the White Rock and Surrey Naturalists Society. 

Continuing this legacy, 35 youth are being hired for the 2020 season through these programs.  Youth will soon be removing invasive plants, maintaining shade trees in parks, restoring waterways for salmon habitat across the City, and carrying out community outreach.  This year, in addition to sites throughout the City, the students will be working on two collaborative projects focusing on the restoration and enhancement of Hyland Creek Park and Walnut Park.

For more information, click here or visit www.surrey.ca/community