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Surrey Youth Act on Climate Change

Surrey Youth Act on Climate Change

The Surrey Youth Stewardship Squad (SYSS) is a group of committed young citizens, ages 13 to 17, who volunteer their time to protect the environment and enhance City parks through hands-on restoration and public awareness events.

Throughout the year, the squad works on two main priorities: removing invasive plant species and, in April and October, planting native trees and shrubs to restore the biodiversity of natural areas. This planting season, volunteers will plant over 10,000 trees and shrubs.

As newly planted trees grow, they help stop climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air, storing carbon in the trees and soil, and releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. Annually, one acre of trees absorbs the amount of carbon dioxide equal to driving a car 42,000 kilometres.

Protecting the earth and addressing climate for future generations through environmental stewardship and leadership is something the group feels passionate about.

“Volunteering with SYSS sets an example for the rest of the community and shows how young people are trying to protect the earth. In the long run, our dedication will help the community grow.”– Vishal, SYSS youth leader

“We have to be the generation to fight climate change.” – Sahib, SYSS youth leader

In addition to helping address global climate change, the squad is also protecting local ecosystems. Removing aggressive and invasive non-native plants helps maintain biodiversity and create a healthy ecosystem. This provides new habitats and food sources for animals and insects, which allows the environment to sustain itself and stay healthy.

“Surrey has a unique urban forest. By enhancing and taking care of our City parks, we allow everyone to have a chance to enjoy the beautiful natural space.” – Ellie, SYSS youth leader

SYSS is currently recruiting youth ages 13 to 17. Experience is not required. In addition to gaining valuable leadership skills and making an impact in the community, members earn volunteer hours toward graduation requirements.

“Small things can make great differences.” – Niharika, SYSS youth leader

To learn more, view SYSS volunteer details, drop into an upcoming event, or call 604-590-7242.

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