Celine Jennings points to a whale visible from the Point Amour Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site. Forty youth attended the three-day workshop, where they learned to use binoculars and to monitor whales and seabirds.  The photo shows them in their first hour of instruction, when several Humpback whales were visible from the grounds of the lighthouse.
Photo by Kathleen Blanchard

“The Quebec-Labrador Foundation, with the help of local and regional partners, has been engaging more than 350 youth from the Great Northern Peninsula, Labrador Straits, and southern Labrador in a multi-year program of workshops called, Training Youth as Citizen Scientists & Community Leaders through Changing Times. The goal is the preparation of a new generation of local leaders who possess the knowledge, skills, values, and positive spirit that will help their communities remain vibrant and their fish and wildlife resources be sustainable. The program teaches youth to identify, monitor, and conserve the terrestrial and marine species that are essential to local ecosystems and that need citizen support. Fun-filled activities serve to reinforce community values such as responsibility and concern for others. Thus far, workshops have been held in several schools and communities such as Flowers Cove, Roddickton, Main Brook, Conche, and St. Anthony.

A highlight of the summer was when forty youth from communities of southern Labrador, the Labrador Straits, and the Quebec Lower North Shore attended a three-day Lighthouse Adventure at the beautiful Point Amour Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site. Youth learned to use binoculars to monitor whales and seabirds, and to record their daily observations, thus contributing to a growing knowledge base. They learned also about impacts of climate change, every-day actions they could do to prevent pollution and harm, and how to have fun and be safe in the outdoor environment. Special events included a tour of the lighthouse and a workshop on fly tying by Dutch angling expert Hans van Klinken, who guided each child through the process of creating a fly.


Above: Kathleen Blanchard points to gannets and other seabirds not far offshore at the Point Amour Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site.  With her are Jax Ryland and other youth from communities in southern Labrador, the Labrador Straits, and the Quebec Lower North Shore.  The Lighthouse Adventure was held July 10-12 as one of several workshops in the program, Training Youth as Citizen Scientists & Community Leaders through Changing Times.
Photo by Ina van Klinken Stevens


Youth from communities of the Labrador Straits and surrounding areas are listening intently to a lecture on sea turtles, given by one of the instructors. Presentations were given on relevant species that participants might find in local marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and were followed by hands-on activities or outdoor field observation.  The youth were passionate in their desire to learn and their eagerness to protect the fish and wildlife resources that they love.
Photo by Kathleen Blanchard

Dr. Kathleen Blanchard conceived of and directs the program, assisted by young professionals, several of whom are university students, who serve as instructors. The program, which is offered each spring, summer, and fall, is made possible through the generous support of many partnering organizations, businesses, and governmental departments. These include Intervale, the Community Youth Network, Provincial Historic Sites, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Department of Fisheries and Land Resources, Tuckamore Lodge, and several others.”

Story submitted by Dr. Kathleen Blanchard of the Quebec-Labrador Foundation