2019 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award nominee: Josh Shea

Josh SheaJosh Shea, Natural Areas Coordinator, City of Kitchener (BES 2008, Environment & Resource Studies | MES 2016, Environment & Resource Studies)

For the past 10 years, Josh Shea has worked as the Natural Area Coordinator for the City of Kitchener and has been an integral part of the city’s impressive revitalization efforts. He made Kitchener Canada’s 11th Bee City(!), regularly leads weekend events and outings for the city. Josh also continues to lead Faculty of Environment Ecology Lab classes, and recently took a lead role with the Envirothon High School Training Days and competition as a partnership between the City of Kitchener, University of Waterloo and Grand River Conservation.

As a graduate of both Waterloo’s Bachelor of (class of ’08) and Master of (class of ’16) programs in Environment and Resource Studies, Josh is a true environmental steward and a great example of how an Environment graduate positively contributes to their community. The few accomplishments listed above are just a sampling of the work this alumnus has done over his career thus far. In his capacity as Natural Area Coordinator, Josh created Kitchener’s Natural Areas Program which delivers environmental education programs, stewardship projects, eco-events, and citizen science monitoring projects and successfully introduced forest school learning for children ages 3-12 in a municipality with the Kitchener Forest School. In addition to that, he developed and implemented a Youth Environmental Stewardship Program were high-school students have the opportunity to volunteer on week-long projects in the summer, but his passion for creating environmental programs for residents of all ages does not stop there. He also created an Eco Discovery summer camp program for youth aged 6-16 that focuses on hands-on and experiential learning.

Josh has been a champion in our local community, an active organizer with the Junior Naturalists Club, a coordinator in the Young Naturalist Program and more recently as the President of Waterloo Region Nature Club. On numerous occasions, he has spoken as a guest lecturer at Waterloo on topics from environmental education to ecosystem management. Josh is a dedicated environmentalist and an incredibly helpful and kind individual who genuinely cares for our local environment and possesses a genuine desire to see students thrive.

Josh frequently hosts public walks and educational programs in the Huron Natural Area in South Kitchener. More information on this can be found through Waterloo Region Nature and Kitchener’s Natural Areas Program. He also hosts a Nature in the City speaker series and public talk program in partnership with Waterloo Region Nature at the Kitchener Public Library.