Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

Volunteer Spotlight: Joshua Ralph

ISCBC youth volunteer Joshua Ralph

Published November 29, 2021

Joshua is a recent university graduate currently working in the animation industry and has been engaging with the Metro-Vancouver youth team since December 2020. He is particularly passionate about natural resource structures’ effects on neighbouring biota (the flora and fauna of a region), as well as sustainable art-making. He is happy lending a hand wherever he can and enjoys opportunities to learn, along with scoping out new birdwatching spots.

What do you like about volunteering and what inspired you to take action?

I appreciate that I’m presented a pathway to playing less of an adversarial role in my relationship with the living world as a whole. With volunteering, I’ve been made aware of some incredibly cool opportunities, such as learning about the role genetic engineering has played in invasive species management or surveying salmon spawning populations.

Initially I was drawn to action as I wished to take palpable measures to maintain the habitats of the plants, animals and fungi that share the spaces I occupy along with a desire to further my education in the ecology field. It has been nothing short of inspiring thus far!

Yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon), photographed by Joshua Ralph

What volunteer activities have you been involved in?

I’ve partaken in weed pulls, planting events, and some mapping within the Lower Mainland. I’d recently organized a garbage cleanup at a local park and presented at a Dialogue Session to volunteer colleagues, merging invasive species education with my background in media studies! I’ve had the opportunity to dabble in some photography and videography with the Council and currently have an eco-art project or two under development. Looking forward, I have high hopes for stewarding a green space through the Park Board’s programming in the upcoming year.

What would you say to a potential volunteer?

Trust in the leap of faith you take, whatever that may be. Exploring new opportunities can lead to some incredibly rewarding experiences; you never know what seemingly small action can have a huge impact on your community or yourself. As a bonus with stewardship volunteering, you get to learn cool flora and fauna facts – you know, the important stuff in life.

Help Protect British Columbia

Are you eager to get outdoors, get active and get learning? Interested in having a real-world impact on your local community? Our youth volunteers help to protect BC from new and spreading invasive species, by gaining expert knowledge of our local environment and ecosystem and by taking meaningful action in the field.