The Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program (CWSP) is an educational experience designed to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards in Canada by connecting youth to nature and their local communities.
The three core components of the program are:
- A CPAWS-led expedition of a regional watershed in need of protection;
- Participant-led, volunteer community service projects focused on conservation or education; and
- A summit where participants share knowledge and develop skills in civic engagement, conservation, leadership, and advocacy.
The expeditions are led by CPAWS chapter staff and knowledgeable guiding companies, and include opportunities for hiking and/or paddling in the participant’s local region. CPAWS’ staff also provide guidance to participants in developing their community service projects. The program culminates in a summit, where participants have the opportunity to meet one another, share their projects, and develop skills to further their conservation work. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we plan to offer a regional in-person summit and a virtual national summit.
The CWSP is funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps program.
*Please note that all program activities for the 2022-2023 season are subject to COVID-19 restrictions. In the event that certain activities must be cancelled, they will be replaced and/or supplemented with virtual or other alternatives.
- Must be between 18-30 years old
- Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or granted refugee status in Canada
- Must reside in your program region of interest
- Must be able to commit 120 hours to the program
- Must demonstrate an interest in wilderness conservation
- Must have access to a computer and an internet connection
2022-2023 Program Regions and Expedition Sites
- New Brunswick – Bay of Fundy
- Ottawa Valley – Madawaska River
- Manitoba – Fisher Bay
- Southern Alberta – Red Deer River, Badlands Alberta
Read our education package to learn more.
u003cemu003eA great experience that really helped me apply some of the things I learned in university in a more practical real-world setting.u003c/emu003e
Ottawa Valley Participant, 2020-2021
u003cemu003eMy experience in the CWSP was exceptional. My love of nature and my curiosity about the outdoors were nurtured and I was encouraged to explore new ways to share my passion with the public. The environment fostered by CWSP resulted in a fun and fulfilling project that helped me to cultivate a community around our shared interest in urban wildlife. Through this program, I was able to meet brilliant new people, explore the rich natural landscapes, and rejuvenate my zest for environmental public engagement. Thank you to CPAWS and Lisa for the amazing experience.u003c/emu003e
Southern Alberta Participant, 2020-2021
u003cemu003eThe CWSP program was an amazing experience that gave me the confidence to start my own citizen science project. I met great people who all shared a passion for environmental stewardship, awareness and activism. Together we had a supportive supervisor that encouraged us with our projects and connected us to other people with similar goals. I am so glad to have been part of the program and was able to learn more about our province. Most importantly it was great knowing that I was not alone and that there are others that also care about the nature that makes up our home. Thanks to the CWSP program I am still involved with my community and my citizen science project.u003c/emu003e
Southern Alberta Participant, 2020-2021
u003cemu003eA supportive community-oriented approach to engaging with and experiencing nature.u003c/emu003e
New Brunswick Participant, 2020-2021
u003cemu003eWhen it comes to experiential learning, the immersive design of the CWSP is unmatched. From a backcountry trip with incredibly knowledgeable guides, to monthly exclusive webinars on various topics, intimate time spent on the land with Indigenous leaders, opportunities to rally my community and connect with others working in this space, and inspire those who are conservation-curious – I truly cannot pick a favourite aspect of this experience. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and vow to keep celebrating our beautiful Earth through conversation efforts and education – thank you CPAWS! am forever grateful for this opportunity and vow to keep celebrating our beautiful Earth through conversation efforts and education – thank you CPAWS!u003c/emu003e
Southern Alberta Participant, 2021-2022
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Contact [email protected] for more information.
The Latest Blogs on the Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program
Published by CPAWS Southern Alberta. Read the original blog. Community, connection, inspiring, empowering, informative, insightful and belonging — these were all words used to describe the … Read More
Published by CPAWS Ottawa Valley. Read the original blog. The Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program (CWSP) is an educational experience designed to inspire the next generation … Read More
Published by CPAWS Southern Alberta. Read the original blog. Saying a (temporary!) goodbye to this year’s program participants As the snow glistened on top of … Read More
Contributed by Neil Bailey, Lisa Coyne, Melanie Jellett, and Chloé McMillan; Featured Photo: Castle Wildland Provincial Park, Heather Davis As we reflect back on 2021, … Read More