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The Brook Never Sleeps: Young people take to the creek at annual Uxbridge environmental event

Mar 16, 2016

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More than 40 young people filled Uxbridge Town Hall today and later explored the nearby Uxbridge Brook as part of The Brook Never Sleeps, a hands-on, educational event that introduces young people to the nature and ecology of their local creek.

“It’s great to see such interest by young people in nature and the environment,” said Uxbridge Youth Centre (UYC) Program Facilitator Dale McKnight. “Hundreds of youth have taken part since the Youth Centre and the Uxbridge Watershed Advisory Committee (UWAC) first organized this free program in 2011. Each young person is getting a personal connection to nature thanks to the amazing contributions by so many partners and conservation experts.”

This year the young people enjoyed nature presentations and hands-on demonstrations about creek ecology, a live native animal talk, a free lunch donated by Boston Pizza, followed by outdoor activities in the afternoon. Rain or shine the youth don rubber boots and even hip waders as they join biologists and conservationists to search for creatures in the brook. The youth also had a chance to try fly-tying, as part of an introduction to the wonders of fishing.

“So many of our communities were originally built around the brooks, streams and rivers of Durham Region, but the historical ties to these waters is often forgotten,” said UWAC Chair Tom Fowle. “The Brook Never Sleeps is an annual reminder to young people, and all of us, that the local brook remains part of our community and part of the fabric of our town.”

Besides the UYC and UWAC, the day was supported by (in alphabetical order) Ecospark, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, North Durham Nature, Ontario Nature, Ontario Streams, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and Trout Unlimited. The Town of Uxbridge contributes financially through UWAC and the use of the Town Hall, and there was a generous financial contribution by Royal Bank of Canada.

The Uxbridge Youth Centre (UYC), in downtown Uxbridge, opened its doors in 2008 to local youth ages 11 and up. The UYC offers drop-in hours that allow young people in the community to convene, use the internet, access resources, and dive into music and art. The UYC is also home to a variety of relevant, skill-building workshops for youth. These workshops encompass many interests such as wellness, art, recreation, mental health, job skills, music and more.

The Uxbridge Watershed Advisory Committee (UWAC) is a Committee of, and advisory body to, Uxbridge Council and is made up of local volunteers and representatives of the local conservation authorities. UWAC works to protect and enhance the environmental health of the watersheds within the Township, and provides a community perspective on watershed management and environmental sustainability. Projects have included tree-planting, watershed studies and the youth-centred “Yellow Fish Road” program, which raises awareness about water pollution along roadside drains.

For more information: Andrea Gynan, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and UWAC – Cell 905-955-1881 Mark Stabb, Volunteer, Uxbridge Youth Centre – Cell 905-621-6230 

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Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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