Spotlight on Young Nature Leaders: Tanya Clark
Enlightening, grounding, inspiring; three words to describe Tanya Clark’s experience as a Young Woman for Nature mentee.
Tanya Clark leads on Development at Couchiching Conservancy in Orillia. She is currently actively working to protect a significant place called the Black River Wildlands, a region east of Lake Couchiching. There are a variety of species at risk, natural flood protection and important aquifers. The Black River is an incredibly diverse place, including rocky sections through the Washago area, and section farther up the river are deep sands. Growing up playing in the Black River, this natural area has held a special place in her heart for years. Her family has been camping along the river for over 25 years.
Tanya was first introduced to Nature Canada through a community called the Better Organizations for Nature Community of Practice. An initiative aimed to bring different organizations together to learn from each other and work toward a common goal of protecting and defending nature. She was then invited to become a mentee of the Women for Nature mentorship program and was matched with a mentor who helped her work on specific skills to increase confidence as a young non-profit leader. Specifically, working on management skills and critical thinking.
“Together my mentor and I were able to discuss some challenges and potential solutions. I have since been able to implement a number of practices and strategies into my work.”
Tanya said that the Women for Nature mentorship came at the perfect time as she is now a team lead in her organization and used these management skills to supervise her team, get curious about problems and look for solutions that work for everyone.
The Women for Nature mentorship enhanced Tanya’s professional skills in order to protect more nature. This passion for protecting nature is a connection that all Women for Nature share. “We need to lift each other up. Our climate crisis and reality feels heavy – in so many ways. Encouraging and learning from the next generation of women is a part of the solution. We have so much to learn from each other.” Tanya said.
Passing on the love of nature to the next generation started from a young age for Tanya. Canoeing with her mother and spending time camping with her family on the river that she is now working to protect. “Something I appreciate so much about conservation and land trust work is that all of this work is interconnected. If you help protect nature in the Couchiching region, it impacts everyone – the people, the species and the future.” People can connect with The Couchiching Conservancy at www.couchichingconserv.ca.
Thanks to Nature Canada’s Women for Nature and our funders for investing in the people powering nature protection nationwide.