Residents in the Village of Salisbury get to experience all the beauty, trails and gardens that the community has to offer.
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 New Brunswick town was able to hire two parks assistants who taught school children the importance of nature – all while keeping the community looking its best.
“This summer job has allowed me to appreciate what the village has to offer and has increased my appreciation for nature,” says Abigail Thornton, one of two summer students who were hired as assistants for the Salisbury Parks and Leisure Program. “This job has opened my eyes and increased my appreciation for nature as it influences everything, and encourages me to appreciate the simple things in life.”
Throughout the summer, Abigail cleaned up the community’s various parks and trails, planted new additions to local flower beds and community orchards, and took care of the Salisbury food bank garden.
“This job has opened my eyes and increased my appreciation for nature as it influences everything, and encourages me to appreciate the simple things in life” - Abigail Thornton, student
But she also engaged with residents – young and old.
“I got the opportunity to incorporate our local daycares in a garden club, in an attempt to engage them in a variety of activities that allow them to take part in caring for the gardens,” Abigail says. “We also organized a walking club around the community wetland trails to encourage the community to get outdoors and embrace nature.”
The two garden clubs per week, which Abigail helped plan and facilitate, included about 50 children. Abigail taught the children about gardening, including how to plant and maintain a garden bed, and about the importance of gardens to support other animal life (including monarch butterflies). Abigail encouraged the children to enjoy in the village’s beautiful parks through play-based learning.
She also helped plan and organize five elementary and middle school field trips around its Highland Park Wetland Trail. Here, the students researched wetland life, pond life and waterfowl at its wetland trail.
Holly McNeil, Director of Salisbury Parks and Leisure, says these green jobs allowed youth to lead projects that made the village more inviting. It got residents outside and enjoying their community, she says, adding that the next generation learned about the importance of nature and the outdoors.
Abigail Thornton, student
“The job has greatly impacted our community because it brought a focus to our wetland trail and learning opportunities to protect our environment to over 200 students,” Holly says.
She adds that students have also brought their families to the wetland trail and taught them what they learned – bringing further attention to the importance of protecting wildlife and natural environments.
“One factor that I love about my job is that we are outside and continuously active" - Abigail Thornton, student
Abigail says she enjoyed her job so much that she would apply for it, or something similar, again.
“One factor that I love about my job is that we are outside and continuously active, and you get the satisfaction of seeing residents enjoying the gardens and parks you have worked on,” she says, adding that she felt like she gave back to the community this summer. “Our job strives to enhance the environment of the community and create a greener area for locals to enjoy. The funding from this program has had a large, positive impact on our community and continuing to improve it.”
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