Greg Sabatino photo Zac Wagman (left) and his brother, Nick Wagman, both from Ottawa and work for Project Learning Tree Canada and a funding program called Green Jobs in Green Spaces, stop by the University of British Columbia Alex Fraser Research Forest office overlooking the Stampede Grounds to visit manager Stephanie Ewen (second from left) and summer student Sky Jarvis. To help raise awareness, and to meet with youth working in the outdoors from coast to coast, the Wagmans have embarked on a bike trip — all while riding wooden bicycles — across Canada from Victoria to New Brunswick.

Green Jobs in Green Spaces taking wooden bikes across Canada

“We’re hoping to put in about 80 to 100 kilometres a day on the bikes,” Zac said.

Two wooden bikes, 34 stops and more than 8,750 kilometres: all for green jobs across Canada.

Those are the tools and goals of brothers Zac Wagman and Nick Wagman, who made a stop in Williams Lake this week on their journey from Victoria to St. John’s, N.B. — all while riding bicycles made from wood.

The Wagmans work for Project Learning Tree Canada and run a funding program called Green Jobs in Green Spaces helping place youth aged 15-30 in outdoor jobs across Canada in fields such as ecosystem and wildlife management, forest management, Indigenous forest-based program, recreation and interpretation, conservation and research, education and jobs with provincial and territorial parks.

Zac told the Tribune Green Jobs in Green Spaces provides 50 per cent wage match to employers to help them hire more youth to work in the outdoors, which is paying off directly in Williams Lake at both the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest and with the Invasive Species Council of BC, who will hire summer students partly thanks to the funds.

“We really want to elevate the outdoor opportunities that exist for youth,” Zac said. “And that’s the whole idea of this Green Ride for Green Jobs: we’re riding these bikes to meet with youth working in the outdoors from coast to coast. We hope by telling these stories of youth we can encourage others to pursue these career pathways.”

READ MORE: Research forest opts for sustainable xeriscape garden

The Wagmans began their cross-country journey in Victoria on May 13 and hope to arrive in St. John’s, N.B. by the end of September.

The bikes they are riding were made by Picolo Vélo out of Montreal, Que.: the first company in Canada to develop and manufacture a high-performance wooden bike.

During their stop in Williams Lake on Monday the pair met with summer students Sky Jarvis and Candy Lo from the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest and with Invasive Species Council of BC executive director Gail Wallin of Williams Lake for a tour of the research forest at Gavin Lake.

“We’re hoping to put in about 80 to 100 kilometres a day on the bikes,” Zac said.

From Williams Lake, the Wagmans were travelling north Prince George, then east to Edmonton, to Saskataoon, to Winnipeg and to Thunder Bay.

Stephanie Ewen, manager of the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest in Williams Lake, said they’re thrilled to have some extra funding, which has allowed them to have an extra summer student on hand, while also working at the same time with a grad student.

“I appreciate it,” said Jarvis. “It’s allowed me and other young people to break into jobs and get experience that wouldn’t otherwise be available. And green jobs are important, especially with the climate crisis we are facing.”

Last year, Green Jobs in Green Spaces provided extra funding to help provide 750 students jobs.

This year, they are on track to place roughly 1,000 students, Zac said.

READ MORE: Invasisve Species Council to host agricultural pests workshop in Williams Lake

And as for the long journey ahead, Zac and Nick said it’s something they’ve always wanted to do.

“It’s pretty neat being able to do this,” Zac said.

“Not only is it something I’ve wanted to do but it serves a prupose that can make a change in people’s lives — especially at a time when yout hare spending more and more time indoors.”

Project Learning Tree Canada and Green Jobs for Green Spaces has a website with more information available at www.mygreenjob.ca.

You can also follow the brothers in their journey on Twitter @PLT_Canada.



sports@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Assistance in purchasing hay for Cariboo-Chilcotin ranchers

‘This program could be the difference of many ranches remaining viable’

Canadian Wrestling’s Elite slams into Williams Lake tonight, Nov. 17

Headlining the event will be WCW and lucha libre cruiserweight Juventud Guerrera

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

B.C. petition calls for seat belts in new school buses

Agassiz bus driver collects 124,000 signatures in support

Abbotsford police chief mulls more enforcement of homeless lawbreakers

‘When all else has failed we have to hold people accountable,’ Police Chief Mike Serr tells council

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Most Read