Tatalu Conservation

Tatalu Conservation Residency

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Tatalu Conservation Residency2023-11-30T12:27:48-08:00

Please note that the Tatalu Conservation Residency was previously known as our Internship Program. Its name was changed in 2022 to more accurately reflect the intentionality of the program and its evolution in recent years.

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A Holistic Expression of Hope

The Tatalu Conservation Residency at Brooksdale Environmental Centre is a residential apprenticeship-style program focused on living out environmental stewardship in practical and holistic ways. Residencies include instruction and practical training in a concentration area – Conservation Science, Environmental Education, Sustainable Agriculture, or Food & Hospitality – yet they are so much more than work training! Residencies are an invitation into a community, way of life, and expression of faith that seeks the flourishing of both people and places.

Residents live, learn, and work at Brooksdale’s beautiful heritage property in Surrey, BC. Residencies run in three terms per year. See “dates” section below for more information. Consider immersing yourself in this transformative experience for a term this year!

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Spots Are Limited!

Each term has space for up to 15 residents. Spaces in specific concentrations do fill up, and you are encouraged to get your application in as early as possible. It’s not too soon to apply for next year now. We would love to hear from you!

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Give where needed most


Program Overview

Residents live at the Brooksdale Environmental Center and participate in all that life and work here has to offer. The program is considered full-time and runs Tuesday – Saturday each week for a three-month term (Spring, Summer, or Fall). Sundays & Mondays & Holidays are off-days and residents are welcome to travel home, explore the local region, or spend some down-time at the center.

Program Components

Residents participate in a particular concentration areas for the term. Concentration options include Conservation Science, Environmental Education, Sustainable Agriculture, and Food & Hospitality. Each area has a program lead and a team of staff working alongside residents who learn through practical experience in their area. Learn more about each area below.

There is a weekly teaching time with residents on Thursday afternoons which cover topics centering around a theme of Creation Care Theology. These sessions seek to integrate the questions of “how does my faith relate to the work of caring for the earth?”. We will explore together the intersection of questions around personal vocation, convictions and values, faith and theology, and local and global environmental issues.

Our community gathers weekly for a rhythm of worship and reflection. Residents participate in these times of spiritual nourishment.

Residents are paired with a staff member for regular bi-weekly one-on-one check-ins. These times are designed to care for residents during their time with us and provide space for reflection and processing of community-life experiences, and personal learning.

Residents gather weekly with the residency coordinators to have an intentional group time of connection. These times vary week-to-week but you can expect them to include times together such as: watching a documentary and having discussion, going to the beach for a walk, playing a game. It is a meaningful time of getting to know one another better and maximizing our short time together.

All of our residents gain valuable life experience assisting with community meal preparation – using local, seasonal produce.

All of our residents participate to some extent with our weekly morning bird walks led by a local naturalist.

Working and living at a thriving non-profit is great experience and exposure to those potentially interested in work in the non-profit sector. Residents help and participate in a wide range of center activities outside of their program area such as community events.


The Brooksdale Center is home year-round to on-site staff and families, and also hosts a guesthouse and retreat center. Residents enter into this vibrant intentional community and often express that they feel a sense of family in this place. Residents live together in a home on-site. Lunches are shared together with Brooksdale staff, while dinners are in a smaller group with the other residents. In addition to their program components, residents are welcomed to participate in many of our regular community practices such as a daily contemplative prayer gatherings and weekly music or games nights.

Please note that all people who live on site are also responsible for participating in community life (chores, cooking, hospitality, and assisting with on-site events).

Concentration Options

Conservation Intern

Conservation Science

Research priority species, conduct environmental monitoring, and restore riparian habitat in the Little Campbell Valley Watershed. Receive training in field-study skills as well as in data collection and reporting.

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Education Intern

Environmental Education

Assist in running experiential environmental education programs for school aged kids, families, and seniors through field trips, workshops and day camps. Work with our fun-loving education team to help connect people to their place through nature-themed games, forest walks, garden work, seasonal cooking, and more!

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Agriculture Intern

Sustainable Agriculture

Gain valuable hands-on experience in small-scale sustainable agriculture through our Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) project. Work in a team environment to prep, plant, weed, water, and harvest farm fresh produce. Experience the wonder of watching a small seed grow into something delicious!

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Hospitality Intern

Food & Hospitality

Help draw the farm to table connection by cooking community meals for our center with seasonal produce grown on-site. We eat meals together daily and our hospitality residents get supported experience in the kitchen cooking with seasonal, sustainably grown food.

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Is This Program For Me?

Over the years we have had Residents from all over the world and from all seasons and stages of life. Residents must be at least 18 years of age to apply. We have had singles, couples and even families join us in the past. The Tatalu Conservation Residency may be for you if you are:

  1. In a transitional season (gap-year, recent graduates, career change),
  2. Looking for a practical outworking of your values and faith,
  3. Interested in an intentional community learning and living experience,
  4. An international student looking for an environmental overseas experience,
  5. Needing to fill internship credits for a university program, or
  6. Wanting to get work training and experience in one of our concentration areas.

What past residents are saying

“My Internship at A Rocha exceeded all of my expectations! It was one of the best experiences of my life.”
~ Joseph Prescott Sones, Sustainable Agriculture Intern

“Being part of the A Rocha Canada community for a season was really rewarding and gave me a real sense of what working in the conservation field is like. I enjoyed all aspects of my internship and learned a lot about life, God, science, community, and food.”
~ Jennifer Rumley, Conservation Science Intern

Program Details


Term Dates & Covid-19 Updates

*Update October 2022: The Canadian border is now open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals for international travel. We welcome international applicants for 2023.

Please note that these dates are subject to change.

  • Spring/Summer 2024: February 20 – August 17
  • Summer 2024: May 14 – August 17
  • Summer/Fall 2024: May 14 – December 7
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Costs for Residencies include all room and board, training and opportunities related to residency program areas, and community experience. The majority of this cost goes toward room and board, and the remaining portion goes toward covering some program activities (staffing, retreat, teaching times, program coordination, etc.). Staff also fundraise to help cover the costs of running this program!

Program Fees

Total Program Fees for Spring/Summer session: $5800 ($2900 spring + $2900 summer)

Fees for Summer session: $2900

Fees for Summer/Fall session: $6600 ($2900 summer + $3300 fall)

*please note the price difference is reflective of the longer duration of the summer/fall term

Payment Schedule

Each term requires a $400 advance deposit to hold your spot, due upon acceptance, which will go toward the full cost of the program.

  • Spring/Summer breakdown:
    • $400 deposit
    • Remaining spring fees (due on start of spring term) + summer deposit: 2500 + 400 = 2900
    • Remaining summer fees (due at start of summer term): 2500
  • Summer breakdown:
    • $400 deposit
    • Remaining summer fees (due at start of summer term): 2500
  • Summer/fall breakdown:
    • $400 deposit
    • Remaining summer fees (due at start of summer term)+ fall deposit: 2500 + 400 = 2900
    • Remaining fall fee (due at start of fall term): 3300

All prices in Canadian dollars.

*Prices all inclusive.

Please note we are unable to offer scholarships or bursaries towards the cost of the Tatalu Conservation Residency program.

News from the Tatalu Conservation Residency

Nature’s Voice

January 26th, 2024|

Written by past Tatalu Conservation Resident, Isabel Gutierrez, pictured on the left above. --- My experience at A Rocha has been full of delight for all the different languages each creature speaks, mimics and embodies. [...]

All Things Bright and Beetleful

November 28th, 2023|

Written by Aurora Sarchet, a Conservation Science resident. --- Today, I am going to introduce you to a beetle.  “What?” you say, “A beetle? I don’t really like those. Too many legs.” “Too bad!” I [...]