Meet the Winners

Here are the successful applicants of the 2017 Jane Stock Excellence in Horticulture Scholarships:

   Robyn Nakano    Daughter to Michelle Nakano, Kwantlen Polytechnic University   

Robyn Nakano

Daughter to Michelle Nakano, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

 

Robyn Nakano 

“Horticulture has had both direct and indirect influences on my upbringing and my proposed course of post-secondary study. From my first teacher, my mother, I learned visual literacy through the patterns involved in identifying plants and experienced the diversity, beauty and value of the natural world which sustains us.

Directly, the horticulture industry has provided our family with an income that has fed and housed me and enabled me to participate in recreational and competitive sports. Indirectly, horticulture has nurtured my appreciation for aesthetic beauty, and developed a fascination with science and a critical understanding of the importance of photosynthesis for humanity’s continued survival in a changing climate, that has propelled me towards my course of study. First, through my mother, then, through biology courses in high school, I learned about photosynthesis; its intricacies led me to become interested in the function of cells. At McGill University, I will pursue the Bachelor of Arts and Science program, with major concentrations in cell and molecular biology and political science. My choice of this interdisciplinary program was motivated by a desire to develop a balanced perspective; I believe that its equal emphasis on science and humanities will serve me better than the traditional approach to education. As Albert Einstein said, “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

To respond to local and global issues in a constructive way, it’s imperative that, as a future leader, I am capable of critical reasoning and sound decision making. Already, in my capacity as a student tutor, lifeguard and instructor, I work to support education and health and safety in my community. Through my undergraduate study, I plan to advance my capacity for serving my community in the realms of health and government. As a doctor, an engaged citizen, and leader in policy development, my chosen program will develop a comprehensive perspective that will enable me address community issues at both local and global scales.

As I’ve come to the end of my high school career, I’ve recognized that I have too much more to learn and offer my community and the world to stop here. Just as horticulture has contributed to establishing my foundational values, high school, as a stepping stone, has prepared me for the next phase of my education.”

 

  Peggy Wong   Employee - Phoenix Perennial and Specialty Plants Ltd.

Peggy Wong

Employee - Phoenix Perennial and Specialty Plants Ltd.

Peggy Wong

“There is a still a scar on my leg from an attempt to leap over a rose bush as a child. I had the idea that the best route to the house must be over the roses. Despite the consequences, my aunt’s garden remained a place to explore and where I felt free to test my theories. In addition to the garden, I was a Girl Guide for six years. As a result, I have always associated the outdoors with play – either camping in the woods, scavenger hunts or walking with my aunt around her garden smelling, touching and collecting flowers. Into my undergraduate years, I studied human geography; learning about cities globally and their relationship with the physical environment. Eventually, it led me to an appreciation for the local landscapes of forests, ocean, rivers and lakes. I am now pursuing a Masters in Landscape Architecture, as it combines nature and design to create meaningful outdoor spaces. 

In my first year of school, I was most drawn to spaces dominated by plants. However, with limited class time spent on horticulture, working at a nursery has been an invaluable, hands-on experience. I was surrounded by different texture, scents, form, and changing colour. I most liked being surrounded by gardeners as they were eager to teach about what they knew, but were also wanting to learn more. When asked why they began gardening, all spoke of memories being sent outside by their parents to play: releasing frogs in lakes, climbing trees, or picking handfuls of blueberries. Gardening was a natural step as it continued to spark their curiosity for the outdoors. In addition to learning about gardening, I was thinking about the ways in which being outside as a child creates and shapes a relationship with the environment. 

 For two years, I worked with the Boys and Girls Club in two strong inner-city communities. I worked with children who could navigate their neighbourhoods comfortably and confidently. Without adult supervision, they make use of shortcuts and preferred routes to walk to the key places in their lives. My studies provide an opportunity to design places that encourage natural, rather than imposed, exploration and independent learning. The importance of these places in urban areas is increasing as there are less children growing up with private yards and gardens. Instead, public parks and streetscapes become a collective backyard. I think it is key to understand how plants can create safe, inclusive spaces for all. The familiar sweet scent of flowers in a garden spilling onto the sidewalk engages those who walk past; creating a sense of place to the neighbourhood. 

Quality outdoor spaces are universally important to all communities as a break from surrounding hardscapes and acts as a safe, gathering space. Landscape Architecture provides the opportunity to bring the power of plants and horticulture to create thriving communities for future generations.”

 

 

  Paige Hunter  Employee - Art’s Nursery 

Paige Hunter
Employee - Art’s Nursery 

Paige Hunter

“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.”

 

  Colin Jansen    Employee - West Creek Farms Ltd.

Colin Jansen

Employee - West Creek Farms Ltd.

Colin Jansen

I have been influenced by the horticulture industry my entire life, as my grandparents started the company Darvonda, and I have lived on the greenhouse property since I was born. When I was six years old, I would work on the planting lines sticking pots onto the conveyor belt with my older sister for two dollars an hour. Even at a young age, my parents were getting me to go to work, and because of this, I have developed a great work ethic. As I grew up, more and more responsibilities came my way, and by the time I was 17, I was the leader of the main labour group and was involved in shipping.

When I started going to university, my time at Darvonda ended, and I began a new part time job at West Creek Farms as a lab technician. There I perform many quality control tests on all the loads of soil that we ship out to various growers in the Fraser Valley. I also do many different trials in the hopes of improving our soil mixes that our customers might get the best possible yield out of their crops.

It was during my time at West Creek Farms that I learned about the BCLNA. I proceeded to volunteer at the annual golf tournament at Redwoods Golf Course where I spent my day running the activities at a hole. There I had the opportunity to meet many different established people from the horticulture industry and hear some of their own personal accounts and experiences from the industry.

A big reason as to why I chose statistics to major in is that I have the freedom to do research and study any subject matter I wish. I hope that studying at University will give me the tools that I need to understand complex topics, and the ability to express these ideas to others in such a way that they might be able to improve themselves and their businesses. I would like to see people use the information that I have gathered to improve the lives of others and promote positive change.

While these goals will be quite difficult to obtain, I believe that with a proper education, these things are possible.

 

  Nicholas Ogilvie    Employee - Ikonic Enterprises Inc.

Nicholas Ogilvie

Employee - Ikonic Enterprises Inc.

 

Nicholas Ogilvie

For as long as I can remember my dad, Ralph Ogilvie, has been working in the landscaping business. I remember seeing him over a drafting table, drawing up quotes for customers in residential and commercial settings. One time, I got to draft a full landscaping plan with my dad for my dream tree fort. I learned what all the different shapes on drawings meant and colour coordinated everything to make it as professional and clean as an eight-year-old could. I felt so proud of myself for drafting this piece of art and smiled when I saw it pinned on the wall throughout my childhood.

Throughout my university experience so far, I have been subjected to all fields of engineering and have learned a lot from my understandings. While at the University of Victoria, I have learned a lot about civil/mechanical engineering and how a structure or machine needs to be supported by other parts and material. I have taken this information with me while building retaining walls and driving excavators/loaders. I understand how proper preparation is needed for a job to be completed efficiently and effectively because of what my father has told me and what I have learned from post-secondary. With my degree and background knowledge of landscaping, I have thought about ways to improve the quoting process for smaller landscaping business such as Ikonic Enterprises.

I hope to specialize in Software Engineering with a Business Minor at the University of Victoria. Victoria is a very environmentally friendly place to live. Green practices are everywhere and we are fortunate enough to have many options to learn more about the environment.

 

Previous Winners:

2017

Colin Jansen

Employee - West Creek Farms Ltd.

Robyn Nakano

Daughter to Michelle Nakano, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Nicholas Ogilvie

Employee - Ikonic Enterprises Inc.

Peggy Wong

Employee - Phoenix Perennial and Specialty Plants Ltd.

Paige Hunter

Employee - Art’s Nursery

2016

Anita Proom
Elk Lake Garden Centre

Juliana Chalifour
Paridon Horticultural Ltd. 

Sam Van Noort
Van Noort Bulb Company Ltd. 

2015

Ashlyn Ouellette
Sticks 'N Stones Nursery

Ryan Broadfoot
Think Green Landscaping Ltd. 

Alexander Johnsen - Howkins
Specimen Trees Wholesale Nursery Ltd. 

2014

Tyler De Jong
Misty Meadow Nursery

Danielle Frost
Frost Nursery

Taylor Josephy
Richbar Nursery

2013

Tyler Burns
Ethical Concrete Solutions Inc.

Justin McTavish
Environmental Farm Planners Ltd.

Wayne Carter-Williams
Candy Can Nursery

2012

Spencer Bronson
Pond Doctor Water Garden Specialists

Ryan De Jong
Misty Meadow Nursery

Acacia Meyer
Contour Landscape Installation & Design Ltd.

Chris Hoegler
BC Plant Health Care Inc.