Paige Hunter

Simon Fraser University – Resource and Environmental Management

Employee – Art’s Nursery

“Having grown up in an area rich with nurseries and florists, I was lucky enough to be raised in a family that had easy access to the world of horticulture and garden design. I was brought up helping care for the family garden, which instilled me with a deep respect for the planet. As I grew older I sought ways to share what I had learned with others and decided to join the Langley Fine Arts School Green Team in 2013, helping construct the Fort Langley Community Garden. Until my graduation I continued to volunteer as a student representative, educating grade 1-12 students about how to grow their own organic produce.

In 2014 I applied for a paid position as a horticultural assistant at Art’s Nursery in order to expand my plant knowledge and have maintained my position to this day. The variety of native animals that the nursery sustains has led me to pursue post-secondary at Simon Fraser University in the Faculty of Environment, where I hope to learn how to preserve and replenish BC’s rich and biologically diverse ecosystems. I am also interested in how to create animal habitats in urban centres through installation of horticulturally enhanced spaces, crossing my knowledge from my studies with my observations from my job.

In my grade 12 year I became the president of the LFAS Green Team, leading a project to redesign our school courtyard into a greener space. The old courtyard was filled with overgrown low-maintenance shrubs that held no more interest than as space-fillers. The courtyard was often empty, even on warm days, as it held no interest for the students as a place to spend time. With a goal in mind, the Green Team spent the year fundraising, holding a Williams Park-style Christmas light show and a used book sale. I collaborated with Laurelle Oldford-Downe, a horticulturalist and designer at Art’s Nursery, to plan out the courtyard and make it accessible to all ages.

Throughout university I will continue to volunteer in the Fort Langley Community Garden as alumni, maintaining the courtyard installation, volunteering for my third year as a horse wrangler at Timberline Ranch, and volunteering for my fourth year at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival working with young children.”