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Jonathan Bakker

Employer: City of Edmonton; River Valley Forestry and Environmental Services
Position: Community Naturalization/Beautification Coordinator
Location: Edmonton, Alberta Westwood Integrated Site
Dates: May 9 to Sept. 1, 2005

During my summer working for the City of Edmonton, I was involved in several major projects. The first consisted of assisting in the planning and implementation of a Toadflax study. Toadflax is a noxious weed in Alberta and the goal of this project was to identify how well native plant material suppress the noxious weed. This is a 5 year project. Secondly, I assisted in another study in regards to the establishment and success rate of native plants. This project consisted of planning out plot layouts, allocating appropriate plot sizes, and planting of the native plants. This project, too, is a 5 year project. Thirdly, I was designated as a contact person for community relations with regards to the City’s Partner’s in Parks program. This part of my job consisted of contacting partners and receiving their calls in regards to the program. The goal was to create and maintain excellent city/citizen relationships. Finally, and most importantly, I assisted in the compiling of information and the organization of the City’s Community in Bloom event which happened on Aug. 12 & 13. This event housed approximately forty displays and two days of exciting speakers.

Throughout my employment with the City of Edmonton, I acquired or developed many skills regarding spreadsheets, research, communication, map reading, and some field work experience. One of the things I enjoyed most about my position was that I was involved in making a difference in the City of Edmonton, my home. They may have been small steps but they were still steps in the right direction for a greener Edmonton.

As an added bonus to my position, I was able to work under John Helder, Principal of Horticulture for the City of Edmonton. John was a great source of vast amounts of knowledge and a great mentor. I would defiantly encourage working for the City of Edmonton if you are interesting in community development and creating environmental awareness.