Hannah Jensen is an Environmental Science student from North Vancouver. When she isn’t at SFU, you’ll find her working as a lifeguard, training for triathlons, or going on adventures in the outdoors.
During the school year, it’s easy to get caught up in your own life. University becomes a never ending stream of papers, labs, exams, and studying. Add this to spending time with your family and friends, working a part time job, and sleeping, and you discover that there are not enough hours in the week to fit in anything else. As a result, it can be difficult to find the time or energy to volunteer.
Now, after a long semester of hard work, exams are finishing up, and summer is finally beginning. While some us may be travelling or be in school for the next 4 months, for many of us who are working in Vancouver, we suddenly have free time on our hands. It’s the perfect time of year to give back to your community and to the planet.
Grab some friends and mark your calendars! Here are some easy ways to get involved.
Join a shoreline clean up
Shoreline garbage is a major risk to animals due to the risk of entanglement or ingestion, which can lead to death in some cases. It can also pose a safety risk to humans. Shoreline cleanups happen frequently all over the lower mainland at streams, rivers, lakes, and beaches. You can find an event to join, or create your own at a place in your area that could use some love.
Remove invasive species
Invasive species can impact ecosystems, human health, and the economy. Any pesky ones are usually removed by volunteer organizations or municipalities. These groups often put on events to get the public involved. Join North Vancouver’s Earth Day festivities on Sunday, April 24 in Wagg Creek Park from 12-4 pm. They’ll be removing invasive species and replacing them with local plants. The event also features community booths and prizes.
Run a race
Celebrate International Bog Day by running/walking 5 km or running 10 km in the Delta Nature Reserve on July 24. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of the area, Burns Bog Conservation Society education programs, and running education campaigns on the importance of peatland ecosystems. Enjoy pancakes and live entertainment after the race.
In 2015, nearly 26500 students were enrolled at SFU. If we all did just one thing to help the environment this summer, think about the difference we could make collectively!
Check out ongoing green volunteer opportunities at the City of Vancouver website for more opportunities over the summer!