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Active U: Breaking Down Barriers to Nature and Climate Education for Underserved Youth

Congratulations to Active U for receiving a runner-up Canadian Youth Climate Action Award in recognition of their work combatting climate change.

Active U operates in the North York community, with initiatives targeted toward BIPOC, low-income, and newcomer youth to engage these groups in nature-focused recreational programs that include an environmental education component. According to Statistics Canada, newcomers and youth from low-income households are less likely to participate in recreational activities growing up. Active U primarily focuses on supporting low-income youth, with the goal of creating inclusive spaces where these youth can access outdoor environmental education opportunities where high costs would otherwise be a barrier to participation.

Active U often hosts group hikes and climate camps aimed at engaging BIPOC and newcomer youth as well as those who identify as being part of language minority communities. Climate anxiety and grief are often worsened by the difficulties of integrating into Canadian culture. Outdoor activities are a huge part of Canadian life and these accessible activities can help youth feel less alienated and instead invigorated to continue fighting for a greener tomorrow. Our group activities are an affordable way for BIPOC and newcomer youth to access these hobbies, foster a sense of community, and contribute to the climate justice conversation.

More about Active U and its programs may be found here.

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