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Student enjoys summer as Jr. Conservationist

2023 Junior Conservationist Gwen Taylor, of the Township of Perth South.


Student from Perth South enjoys conservation job experience this summer thanks to Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation
Perth South’s Gwen Taylor learns from two-month job experience at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) east of Exeter

By Gwen Taylor, 2023 Junior Conservationist

I was thrilled to learn about the Junior Conservationist position that Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) had to offer. The opportunity to have incredible learning experiences while being outside all day sounded great to me. I was not disappointed.

The reason I applied for this program is because I love the outdoors and getting a variety of different experiences. Every day is different and I never knew exactly what to expect, which is exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to get some experience in the environmental field to make sure this truly is the right field for me. Working for ABCA has certainly confirmed that my decision, to pursue a carrier in the environmental field, was a good one.

When I first arrived at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation office, I was welcomed with lots of smiling faces and people you can just tell are very passionate about both their jobs and the environment.  This was the perfect recipe for an amazing work environment. 

What I loved best was fish sampling in the community with Kari Jean, the Aquatic Biologist at ABCA. Squeezing into a canoe with all our nets, other equipment and three people … what a great time that was! I enjoyed seeing the variety of species in our rivers and attempting to identify them. I was grateful to get to work alongside the amazing staff at ABCA.

I had a chance to experience many different jobs and work duties during my two months. I absolutely loved being able to get such a wide variety of experiences. Each job experience was enjoyable, whether it was fishing, beach sampling or helping out with the best nature day camp there is! I always enjoyed working here. Seeing all of the different jobs that are involved with the conservation authority is amazing! I never would have known all the work, in which the conservation authority is involved, without this experience. It is amazing how much they do for the community.

I would like to thank Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) for funding this opportunity. This program is an incredible experience and I would recommend it to anyone who loves the outdoors and who loves learning! I cannot wait to show off, at school this autumn, everything I learned this summer.

I would like to thank the staff at Ausable Bayfield Conservation for having taken me under their wings and making sure I understood all that goes on at this conservation authority.  Everyone took their time with me and made me look forward to work each and every day.

This truly was a job I will never forget and for which I will be forever grateful. Ausable Bayfield Conservation is an incredibly welcoming community. I hope one day I will be returning to ABCA and all of the wonderful employees who work there.

– Gwen Taylor is from the Township of Perth South, near St. Marys. She is taking environmental studies at Canadore College in North Bay starting this autumn.

Gwen Taylor and fellow staff at Ausable Bayfield Conservation, monitoring for species at risk.

Monitoring fish and species-at-risk populations in the Bayfield River, at the Bayfield River Flats, were (left to right in photo), from Ausable Bayfield Conservation, Gwen Taylor, Junior Conservationist; Christie Brown, Assistant Water Resources Technician; Jake McClure, Conservation and Restoration Technician; and Davin Heinbuck, Water Resources Coordinator. (Roger Lewington photo)

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