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.”
IMAGE: 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.