This summer, Chad Quigley made the City of Charlottetown greener – and, he did it all in a sustainable way.
Thanks to funding from the CPRA’s Green Jobs Initiative, which is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program, the City of Charlottetown was able to hire three students for Green Jobs, including Chad who worked as a Sustainable Horticulture Assistant.
“This job has given me perspective on the importance of natural areas within urban centers,” says Chad, who is studying Wildlife Conservation.
Throughout the summer, Chad helped design, plant, and maintain the city’s parks and community vegetable planters for the residents to use.
“It is truly a good feeling to plant and maintain these gardens for the people of Charlottetown,” says Chad. “The flowers and plants will hopefully brighten their days.”
Chad used sustainable practices when maintaining the city’s gardens. For example, he watered plants with rain water collected from several building roofs – lowering the city’s potable water use. He also became more aware of the effects of invasive species, and how they affect native species.
Chad feels his job helped inspire citizens to establish their own gardens at home, and pursue a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.
“It is truly a good feeling to plant and maintain these gardens for the people of Charlottetown” - Chad Quigley, student
But he also feels proud that his work helped bring nature to the city.
“The gardens give people a green space in the city. It can give people a break from the busy city lifestyle and a place to relax and take in some beautiful nature,” he says. “City gardens and green spaces give wildlife a home within the city boundaries, and this gives people an opportunity to connect with wildlife without having to leave Charlottetown.”
Nancy McMinn, Parks Superintendent for the City of Charlottetown, says Chad’s horticulture position introduced him to a number of horticultural green initiatives in parks.
Among many tasks, she says Chad worked with volunteer groups to plant large native trees, learned how to plant drought-resistant plants, weeded and learned about pollinator plants, and even introduced new Canadians to new plants in the city’s vegetable planters.
“The Green Jobs Initiative helped us spread the concepts of sustainable horticulture,” says Nancy, adding that it also helped students like Chad get hands-on experience in growing food, sustainability, and making communities look better.
Shelly Gallant, Chad’s Crew Chief, adds that these green jobs are important because they introduce students to future employment with municipal parks and sustainability.
“Working with plants and in the conservation field is the kind of work I would like to build a career around” - Chad Quigley, student
“It is very nice to see a young person having such an interest in nature and horticulture,” she says. “It makes the seasoned staff appreciate passing on their knowledge, and gives us hope that the future will be better because of the students’ interests.”
Chad enjoyed his work so much that he would like to have a career in sustainability and conservation.
“Working with plants and in the conservation field is the kind of work I would like to build a career around,” he says. “This job or a similar position would allow me to expand my knowledge in the field and continue to make a positive impact in the environmental field.”
The CPRA’s Green Jobs Initiative supports Goal 3 ‘Connecting People & Nature’ and Goal 5 ‘Recreation Capacity’ within the Framework for Recreation in Canada. The Framework serves as a foundation for the work of the parks and recreation sector.
To read all success stories go to: https://www.cpra.ca/stories