The Green Ride rolls through Timmins and leaves kids excited about working in the forest

July 23, 2019

PLT Canada’s Green Jobs Manager, Zac Wagman (standing with bicycle) visited children at the Timmins Family YMCA, on July 22, 2019, to raise awareness of green jobs in the forest, conservation and parks sectors. Wagman also visited an EACOM sawmill and participated in a group bike ride around town.

“I want to work with Grizzly bears,” says a 10-year-old girl who was one of 38 kids who took part in an event to celebrate Green Jobs in Timmins, Ontario. “I would like to help spread nutrients for trees,” says another.

Both girls were on hand at the Timmins Family YMCA on July 22 to welcome Zac Wagman, Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada)’s Green Jobs Manager. Zac is cycling across Canada on the Green Ride for Green Jobs. He is visiting 50 Green Jobs employers in over 100 communities across nine provinces.

“We are looking for new forestry workers so it’s very important that however young they are we get them thinking about forestry and stable, rewarding careers in their own backyard,” says Biliana Necheva, a Communications Advisor at EACOM Timber Corporation, a PLT Canada partner that supported the event and an organization certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standards – providing assurance that our forest resources are being managed sustainably.

There are 1,625 people in Timmins, almost 6% of residents aged 15 to 64, who work in the field of “natural resources, agriculture and related production,” according to Statistics Canada. These categories include the types of jobs Zac was talking about.

Zac led 38 10-year-old summer campers through a presentation about Green Jobs and why working in the woods is a fun career option. The day included an educational sawmill tour for PLT Canada staff to engage with Green Jobs youth, the presentation at the YMCA, and a group bike ride around town that ended at the Timmins Museum National Exhibition Centre where Councillor Rock Whissell and museum staff welcomed PLT Canada to their city.

Local media covered the day’s events and Zac was interviewed for CBC Radio’s “Up North” afternoon show (see CTV news video, The Timmins Daily Press, and Timmins Today).

“Our forests are a source of collective wealth that we strive to preserve for future generations. The partnership with PLT Canada is a natural fit, showing that by managing Canada’s greatest renewable resource responsibly, we generate stable jobs and opportunity for communities like Timmins. We’re happy that Zac is riding across our communities and inspiring youth to consider these wonderful careers in the great outdoors,” says Kevin Edgson, EACOM President and CEO and board member of PLT Canada and SFI.

Zac is profiling youth working in green jobs and sharing their experiences on social media to highlight the types of careers that exist in the forest, conservation and parks sectors. (Follow Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates). He started the Green Ride on May 13 in Victoria, B.C. and is set to finish, 8,750 km later, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on September 24. Green Jobs include positions in ecosystem and wildlife management, recreation and interpretation, conservation and research, and more. PLT Canada is an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.