Humans of Blue Dot: Jaylen

(Photo: Vincent Tom)

Jaylen is a forestry student at UBC, and a long-standing, dedicated Blue Dot volunteer and organizer.

My love for nature and passion for the environment were products of unfavourable childhood conditions and sheer luck. Growing up, I was subject to an unstable and abusive home environment. My day-to-day was somewhat of a nightmare, and I didn’t enjoy home as a kid.

However, when I was seven, my siblings and I got the opportunity to go to a sleep-away camp in Muskoka. This would be the place where I learned not only my connection to nature but the importance of stewardship and consideration toward the natural landscape. It was a camp that allowed us to stay for two weeks each time. Over the years, the camp would become my only place of refuge from my chaotic home life, and throughout the year I would be waiting until the days that I could return. I would eventually go on to become a leader and then camp counsellor, working to teach future generations to cultivate that same connection to the natural landscape that I was able to.

Fast-forward to today, and I’m nearly finished a degree in natural resource conservation science and management. My love for nature has pushed me to explore areas in which our urban landscapes can better assimilate with the surrounding natural environment to create a world that benefits humans and wildlife. As I work to find solutions to this challenge, I have also had the pleasure of working with the Blue Dot movement. I believe environmental rights serve as an innate security that should be afforded to everyone. In Canada, so many environmental injustices have been perpetrated by private organizations and the federal government. The recognition of environmental rights either in the Constitution or as a federal bill would provide an avenue for individuals with limited clout, resources or money to also enjoy access to clean air and water. They deserve to be treated fairly.

Blue Dot relies on the efforts of dedicated citizens taking action in their local communities. Humans of Blue Dot is an attempt to capture the unique stories of some inspiring volunteers who have generously given their time to advancing the environmental rights movement in Canada.