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Our EcoIntern

Introducing our EcoIntern!

Meet Vanessa Clarke

Vanessa is a recent grad of Trent University’s Environmental Studies Program and now has her first job in this field as our “Sustainability Intern”, thanks to two amazing programs! Her employment with us is funded by a federal Career Launcher grant, a Colleges and Institutes Canada (CiCan) initiative which aims to launch careers and strengthen businesses by giving job seekers access to training and meaningful employment, and giving employers who support Canada’s efforts towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), access to subsidies for training and salary costs.

Her placement with us is supported by Eco-Internships, a non-profit organization that supports “small shop” environmental organizations across Canada by connecting them to funding opportunities to hire youth interns (under 30 years old) through wage subsidy grants.

As an SDG intern, Vanessa is currently working on the first phase of our Lake Stewardship Plan under the guidance and supervision of Manuel Stevens. Manuel is a retired planner for the Rideau Canal, Parks Canada, a member of our board of directors and Chair of our Lake Plan Development Committee.

6FOOPCckR7C004hg.jpgVanessa lives in Courtice, Ontario and visits her family cottage on Charleston Lake during the summer. Although expectations these days are often for remote work and learning, we have been fortunate that Vanessa can meet with us in person from time to time. Vanessa did an extensive tour of both Dog and Cranberry Lakes during the first two days of her internship, along with Manuel Stevens, Peter & Daryl Neve, Elizabeth Hucaluck and Janet Brown. Geof Hall came out on his sailboat and rafted up with the tour in Milburn Bay for some sharing of information and opportunities. Vanessa was able to join the first meeting of the Lake Plan Committee, in person, on Beaupré Island here in Cranberry Lake.

Vanessa tell us; "Since I was a child I have always had a love for nature and outdoor environments, so I was very grateful to the Eco-internships program to partner me with such an amazing organization. The members of the Dog & Cranberry Lakes Association have been more than a pleasure to work with and made me feel welcomed right away. While working for the DCLA in the first phase of creating a Lake Stewardship Plan, I have had the opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills surrounding copious water and land management practices, while also researching ways to apply the respective SDGs that can be taken to improve the overall natural environment of these lakes. As I have only been working several weeks for the DCLA, it is evident that they cherish these lakes and are committed to taking care of them for generations to come, and I am glad I can contribute to these efforts. "

One of the 17 SDGs is “Partnerships for the Goals”. The DCLA has to thank a number of our partners for enabling us to hire an Intern:

  • Barb King, former director of Watersheds Canada for introducing us to this internship opportunity, as well as a suite of new non-profit partners who work behind the scenes to support us in having an Intern.
  • Eco-internships, who offer non-profit staffing support, facilitate the hiring process, run a training program for EcoInterns and collaborate with the following agencies.
  • Greenbooks, who provide accounting services and issue government acceptable paystubs for an association like ours who do not run a payroll system
  • The Sustainable Capacity Foundation who have given us a cashflow loan from which to pay our intern while we wait for the mid-term and final funding payments from CiCan’s Career Launcher Program. The Career Launcher program: Funding for this initiative is provided by the Government of Canada as a part of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy. Le finacnement de cette initiative est fourni par le gouvernment du Canada dans la cadre de la Stratégie emploi et compétences jeunesse.

We have already reached the mid-point of Vanessa’s work term with us. Aren’t we all wondering at this point…”where has the summer gone”? Members of the DCLA board will be continuing to work on a State of the Lake Report and a Lake Stewardship Plan once Vanessa finished her term with us.