Beginning this summer, a new youth community science program of The Couchiching Conservancy will provide opportunities for local youth (between the age of 16 and 30) to participate in conservation projects. The Angela Rehhorn Commemorative Project, as the new program is named, will allow youth to be involved in making roads safer for wildlife and removing fences on the landscape, and will also introduce them to the options available for a career in conservation.
Angela Rehhorn was born and raised in Orillia, Ontario. She was on her way to a career in marine biology when she became a volunteer with The Couchiching Conservancy in the winter of 2019, as part of the Canadian Conservation Corps program. Angela was passionate about protecting nature and was eager to make a difference in the community that raised her. She was selected as a Canadian Youth Delegate for the 2019 United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya and was on her way there when she fell victim in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dorthea Hangaard, Executive Director for The Couchiching Conservancy, was working with Angela at that time to establish a community science bat monitoring program for the organization and had this to say, “We will never know what Angela’s contribution to conservation would have been over the course of her career, but based on our experience of the passionate, intelligent, and dedicated young woman we knew only too briefly, we’re certain it would have been large.”
Angela wrote a blog during her time with the Canadian Conservation Core, and expressed her wish to: “live an eco-conscience life, spend lots of time outdoors, provide service to my communities and inspire others. Change your life, change the world.”
It is hoped that this project will carry forward these values to the youth in our community.
March 10th, 2023 was the fourth anniversary of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash which took the life of Angela Rehhorn and 17 other Canadians. To commemorate the Canadian victims in a meaningful way, Transport Canada has established the Commemoration Fund for the Victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Tragedy and is providing financial support for ten projects across Canada that are youth-focused, environmental or humanitarian, and in keeping with the values of each victim.
The Couchiching Conservancy is one of the successful recipients and is very pleased to name our project for Angela Rehhorn. “The Couchiching Conservancy’s project is very personal for our family: It inspires youth in nature in our daughter’s home community, celebrates Angela’s vision, and honours her memory,” said Angela’s parents, Joan Vincent and Roland Rehhorn. “We are grateful for these wonderful commemorative projects that reflect and honour the Canadians that died on Flight ET302.”
The Angela Rehhorn Commemorative Project will all be coordinated by Alysha Henry, a recent graduate of Lakehead’s Bachelor of Science program. “I can sympathize with youth who feel anxious about the future of the earth,” said Alysha,” but I believe that working on conservation projects such as this instills a sense of empowerment and hope for the future.”
If you are between the age of 16 and 30 and are inspired to participate in this youth community science project, please contact Alysha Henry: firstname.lastname@example.org