It was a dry spring in Saskatchewan this year. But in the Town of Kerrobert, fresh flowers bloomed. Parks were green. Residents and tourists enjoyed bird watching at the town’s Interpretive Nature Trail, and fishing at the local Reservoir.
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 Town of Kerrobert Recreation Board was able to hire a summer student to maintain these outdoor spaces for all to enjoy.
“By bettering our green spaces we know that our community members will take the time to enjoy the outdoors more,” says Bobbi Hebron, Kerrobert Recreation Director. “We know the importance of preserving the environment and promoting green spaces, as they contribute to the health and wellbeing of our people.”
Jonathan Chase, who was hired as the Parks Summer Student, was responsible for tree care, lawn maintenance, flower care, maintaining and improving the Interpretive Nature Trail and local Reservoir, and other green spaces.
While the job had its fun and unique moments for the high school graduate – like riding a lawn mower and working outside all day – he also learned a lot about the importance of caring for all green spaces.
“By working outdoors, I have learned to appreciate what nature naturally provides us with – such as animals, water and trees,” he says.
Jonathan adds that the job was very rewarding, and he felt like he was making a difference in the community.
“By working outdoors, I have learned to appreciate what nature naturally provides us with – such as animals, water and trees” - Jonathan Chase, student
“By bettering the green spaces in this community, people enjoy spending their time in the parks and other green spaces that I work to improve,” he says. “I have had people from the community thank me for the work I have been doing in the local parks. They tell me that they sit in the park more because it looks really good.”
The job was so rewarding that if given the opportunity, he says he would apply for a similar job again.
Hebron says she would “absolutely” apply for the grant again, and adds that it offered a great work opportunity for a summer student.
“I have had people from the community thank me for the work I have been doing in the local parks. They tell me that they sit in the park more because it looks really good” - Jonathan Chase, student
“Small communities such as ours do not offer many opportunities for youth to return for full time work. This job allowed our student to remain at home throughout the summer and work at a job that he learned from, enjoyed, and he was able to save money doing it,” she says, adding that the grant was also beneficial for the entire town. “This job allowed the Town of Kerrobert the opportunity to have one student focus entirely on our green spaces. This is unique as we typically do not have the funds to devote one student to anything.”
Hebron says that having the summer job grant also showed the community that its green spaces are a priority, and that Jonathan was seen as a leader for other youth.
“He provided leadership to other youth that “green jobs” are good jobs,” she says. “It has made our community better!”
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 parks and recreation sector.
To read all success stories go to: https://www.cpra.ca/stories