Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program

Do you share our love of Alberta's wilderness, and want to help us protect it? If so, read on!

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.

If you're passionate about enjoying Alberta's glorious outdoors, caring for the land and its inhabitants, or are considering a career in conservation, science, stewardship or education, then CWSP may be just the platform to launch your professional journey! 

Through CWSP, you'll develop unique skills and network with other youth in our province who share your passion for the environment. All the while, you'll have the opportunity to learn from professionals in a variety of environmental-based fields, inspiring activists and Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

Empowering Alberta's Next Generation

The three core components of the program are:

  1. A CPAWS-led expedition of a regional watershed in need of protection;
  2. A participant-led, volunteer community service project focused on conservation or education; and
  3. A summit where participants share knowledge and develop skills in civic engagement, conservation, leadership, and advocacy.

The expeditions are led by CPAWS Southern Alberta staff and knowledgeable guiding companies, and include opportunities for adventures in southern Alberta. 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.

The CWSP is funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps program.


What participants are saying

  • The 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.

    - Christopher Villacorta-Lopez 2020-2021 Participant
  • "CWSP has worked with Uplift Adventures since 2020 to deliver an overnight backpacking trip with meaningful and impactful programming. The program focuses on conservation and inspiring youth to engage and get involved. We absolutely love how uplifting and educational this program is both for youth, but for us and our guides. When we return from the trip, we feel ready to conquer and get involved with more projects. It is a treat and honour to be a part of this, and to watch the amazing projects that grow and develop from this experience."

    - Heather Davis, Owner Uplift Adventures
  • "My 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."

    - Dorothy Graham, 2020-2021 Participant
  • "I gained so much from this program, including entrepreneurial skills, learning opportunities and a community that I am sure to be a part of for years to come. If you are looking for an opportunity to find your strengths and skillsets while pushing your comfort zone, this program is an excellent opportunity which I cannot recommend enough."

    - Sarah Knude, 2021-2022 Participant
  • "When 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, to intimate time spent on the land with Indigenous leaders, to the opportunities to rally my community, 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!"

    - Brittney Wynnyk, 2021-2022 Participant

Current & Past Projects

Learn more about the projects developed by the CWSP participants and how you can support their work.

Current Projects

Take a peek at what current CWSP participants are working hard on for their projects this year, and learn how you can support them!



From watershed education to fascinating fungi stories to magic seeds, check out the exciting array of projects from our CWSP participants over the years!


Applications are now open for the 2022-23 Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program!