Media Releases

New Canadian Stewardship Course offers training opportunity for Foreign Trained Environmental Professionals

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For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 7, 2013

BURLINGTON – The Natural Connections Program, which is a joint initiative between Conservation Halton and FutureWatch EDEP, is offering a great training opportunity for Foreign Trained Environmental Professionals in the Halton Region, starting in April.

The New Canadian Stewardship Course is an intensive, eight-week certificate workshop series by Conservation Halton for New Canadians in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville. It begins in April and is designed to help participants gain valuable, introductory knowledge and enhance their employment opportunities in the community environmental sector. Expert speakers will deliver a weekly workshop on topics such as:

  • Planning and Environmental Management
  • Local Ecology and Biodiversity
  • Forestry Management
  • Natural Hazards Management and Source Water Protection
  • Recreation Management and Risk Assessment
  • Governance, Communication and Social Media

“Conservation Halton is delighted to be working in partnership with FutureWatch EDEP on the Natural Connections program to introduce new Canadians to Halton’s green sector,” said Hassaan Basit, Director of Communications Services for Conservation Halton. “The new Canadian Stewardship Course will allow participants to see how their energy, experience and skills can help protect our local environment.”

“The course also has a second, equally important objective”, continued Basit, “it promotes our environmental and recreation programs and services to new and ethnically diverse residents within the watershed. Rather than broadcast our messages through traditional media channels and hope that one-size-fits-all, we are aiming to instead have a tailored conversation about our programs by engaging with the various ethnic communities that are taking shape within the watershed”.

“Natural Connections is promoting environmental engagement at many levels in the community: to families, to diverse newcomer communities, and to internationally-trained professionals,” said Eduardo Garay of FutureWatch EDEP. “The New Canadian Stewardship Course provides a great starting point for foreign-trained professionals, who have tremendous knowledge, to get involved with local community initiatives while gaining as well as sharing their expertise.”

Spaces in the New Canadian Stewardship Course are limited and interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter by Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by e-mail to the program coordinator at, or by mail: Natural Connections Coordinator, 2596 Britannia Road West, Burlington, ON L7P 0G3.

The course is free except for a registration fee of $15 for candidates who are admitted to the course. Successful participants will receive a certificate of completion at a formal graduation ceremony during the Conservation Halton Awards of Excellence on June 13. Please visit the Natural Connections website, for more details.

About Natural Connections

Natural Connections is a new collaborative outreach and engagement initiative between Conservation Halton and FutureWatch EDEP ( aimed at connecting new communities in Halton to their precious natural surroundings. These connections will serve as starting points to discuss social integration and local environmental issues, programs, services and opportunities.

This initiative is designed to engage residents through a social, two-way dialogue that focuses as much on introducing residents to local conservation and recreation programs as it does on learning from their diverse perspectives on the environment. Natural Connections is a multi-faceted project with several programs that span over the Halton watershed. Natural Connections is supported by a financial grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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Conservation Halton is the community based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages the natural resources in its watershed. The organization has staff that includes ecologists, land use planners, engineers, foresters and educators, along with a network of volunteers, who are guided by a Board of Directors comprised of municipally elected and appointed citizens. Conservation Halton is recognized for its stewardship of creeks, forests and Niagara Escarpment lands through science based programs and services.

Media Contacts:

Hassaan Basit
Director Communications Services
Telephone: 905-336-1158, Ext. 270

Norm Miller
Communications Advisor
Telephone: 905-336-1158, Ext. 233