Volunteer Spotlight – March 2015

This month, we decided to highlight the work of two amazing volunteers. Normally we only highlight one at a time, but this month we are highlighting a duo who worked together on report to inform our future decisions about prep for naturalizations. Carol and Jenn reveiwed 90 articles and papers about the use of mechanical site prep and turf grass competiton in regards to prepping for naturalization projects. Our Project Manager Amber used their report to present to the Technical Review Team to determine best practices for site prepartion. Thanks Carol and Jenn for your hard work!

Carol Dyck

Autobiography: Hi, I’m Carol. I am originally from British Columbia and came to London in 2007 when my husband got a job at Western. I got my BA in International Relations from UBC, and after working in Belgium for a bit I moved to California to do a Masters of Arts in International Environmental Policy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Following a year in Germany, where my husband was working on his Ph.D., I went to Canterbury, England to do a Masters of Law in Environmental Law. My husband and I returned back to Canada and started our family. We have two wonderful daughters. Last August we returned from a year away at Oxford where I completed a Masters of Science in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management. I am currently trying to establish my career after 7 years as a stay-at-home mom and am enjoying my time working/volunteering as an environmental consultant.

Reflections on Volunteering: Coming from British Columbia, my family loves big, beautiful trees. We picked our neighbourhood specifically because it boasts large, established trees. In addition, since moving to London eight years ago, we have planted over thirty trees on our property! I enjoy volunteering for ReForest London because I truly believe that trees make a city a more beautiful and healthy place to live. I appreciate that I can use my experience in research to help influence policies and ensure best practices. It makes me happy to think that my children will hopefully witness London transform into a greener and cleaner city, and I like having the opportunity to help a great organization like ReForest London to accomplish that goal.

Jenn McPhee

Autobiography: I was born in London, but moved to Cape Breton when I was three. I was always curious as to what drew my parents to London, and knew I would be back some day. In January of 2012, I finally got that chance when I began a Master’s of Science degree at Western University in Ecology. I fell in love with London as I settled in. After hearing about ReForest London through another group I volunteer with (Thames Talbot Land Trust), I started volunteering for planting events and tree guru training as soon as planting season began. I enjoy everything to do with nature, and I especially love sharing my passion about the benefits of nature with others. I am currently working at the Royal Botanical Gardens as a botanist in Burlington, and hope to return to London in the near future. However, I still volunteer at ReForest London on weekends whenever possible. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, camping, baking, and dancing (especially highland).

Reflections on Volunteering: ReForest London is an amazing organization that is doing big things to help improve the overall health of the community. The ambitious goal of planting a million trees in ten years would be an impossible goal without the coordination and involvement of many people. I want to do anything I can to help make that happen. I know the ecological, economical, and social benefits that planting native trees can have on an urban area, and it makes me wish more cities had such an ambitious goal.