Every day on the job is different for Tianna Mighty. One day, she might be collecting water samples at the community pond. The next day, she might be writing pieces for the community newsletter about the importance of recycling and composting.
Whether she’s working inside or outside the office, the environmental science student is bringing attention to environmental issues as Climate Change Adaptation Assistant for the Rural Municipality (RM) of East St. Paul, Manitoba.
“I think it’s really important that we begin thinking of the impacts of climate change, not only so we can plan for the future of our communities, but also so we can adapt our current practices to make sure we are being as sustainable as possible,” says Tianna. “I have learned a lot about how individual actions can have a big impact on the community scale, and how important it is to be conscious when making decisions that ultimately impact our natural environment.”
“I think it’s really important that we begin thinking of the impacts of climate change, not only so we can plan for the future of our communities, but also so we can adapt our current practices to make sure we are being as sustainable as possible” - Tianna Mighty, student
Thanks to funding from the CPRA’s Green Jobs Initiative, which is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program, the RM of East St. Paul was able to hire Tianna - along with two other summer students – to help advance its green projects and initiatives, including community engagement.
“The position has helped the community better understand how all of our actions influence the health of the environment and what measures we can take to protect the natural assets we have while planning for a changing climate,” says Leanne Shewchuk, the RM’s Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator who also supervised Tianna.
One of Tianna’s tasks was to look at active transportation within the community. She conducted a community bike rack audit to identify improvement opportunities, and also supported a review of bike path connections to help provide better active transportation options for residents and visitors.
She also headed out to the community pond to collect water samples, where she used a portable meter to look at water quality readings.
“I like that I get a lot of freedom and the ability to be creative,” says Tianna. “I feel like my input is valued and considered.”
While she’s out in the community, Tianna says she frequently runs into residents who are interested in the municipality’s environmental efforts.
“There is a big sense of community and the people that live here really care about what is happening and how they can contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment,” says Tianna.
“There is a big sense of community and the people that live here really care about what is happening" - Tianna Mighty, student
She adds that if given the opportunity, she would “definitely” apply for a similar job again.
“I feel like it has given me valuable work experience in the environmental sector which will be beneficial in future employment endeavors,” Tianna says. “I have learned a lot in a short amount of time, and it’s great to be able to use the knowledge I’ve gained from the job in combination with what I’ve learned during my degree and apply it professionally.”
Leanne also says that this grant will help students like Tianna move forward in their careers.
“This grant has allowed the RM to provide a valuable learning and development opportunity for our students,” she says, adding that the RM of East St. Paul successfully applied for a fall grant through CPRA, which will allow them to hire three more students.
“Thanks to the Green Jobs Initiative, the RM of East St. Paul has been able to better support green projects and initiatives throughout our community,” she says.
The CPRA’s Green Jobs Initiative supports Goal 3 ‘Connecting People & Nature’ and Goal 5 ‘Recreation Capacity’ within the Framework for Recreation in Canada. The Framework serves as a foundation for the work of the parks and recreation sector
To read all success stories go to: https://www.cpra.ca/stories