Meet the Winners
Here are the successful applicants of the 2016 Jane Stock Excellence in Horticulture Scholarships:
“I became involved in the horticulture industry by working at Elk Lake Garden Centre, a well-established family owned retail garden centre in Saanich, BC. I worked there for four spring/summer seasons while attending the University of BC (studying general sciences). I enjoyed working in this environment, interacting with customers and constantly expanding my knowledge of ornamental plants. I was studying sciences without a set direction. I pursued math and psychology in university but I could not see myself with a career in either area. I decided to transfer to Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Bachelor of Horticulture Science program majoring in Urban Ecosystems. This decision was brought on my experiment to continue working with ornamental plants and their application in green infrastructure and urban landscapes.
KPU School of Horticulture has an excellent reputation for quality. Knowledgeable instructors and small class sizes have let me get the most out of being here. I believe making interpersonal connections is equally as valuable as gaining a diploma while in university. As well as teachers, classmates who come from different sides of the horticulture industry have contributed a great deal to my knowledge. These connections will be extremely valuable once I have graduated as I will always have a network of people who are as interested and involved in horticulture as I am.
My program has focused on plant sciences, ecological restoration and green infrastructure. There has been some flexibility in the horticulture courses I am able to take and I have directed all these towards the landscape side of the industry. These courses have included landscape estimating and contract administration, arboriculture landscape design, propagation and landscape pest management. I aim to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Spring 2017 and then graduate in fall 2017 with a Diploma in Horticulture Technology - Landscape Horticulture Systems Specialization.
For the past two summer’s I have been fortunate to work at Butchart Gardens as a gardener. This has greatly increased my landscape maintenance skills and plant knowledge.
In the future I would like to work in urban gardens. These may be in the form of a green roof or living wall. I am interested in improving survival rates and maintenance practices for these types of urban landscapes. I am also keen on lowering vandalism and vertebrate pest damage to such green spaces. Overall I am committed to seeing cities in BC implement green infrastructure projects that will be designed installed and maintained properly and that will last lifetimes. After I graduate I aim to work for 5-10 years then pursue a master’s degree wither in landscape architecture oar plant sciences research.”
“Throughout all of my eighteen years, I have been surrounded by the world of horticulturee. My father, who grew up in the Saskatchewan prairies, made his passion into a career, and anyone can see that from our front and backyard. At the dinner table, plants and flower names would be thrown around so much that I was able to tell the difference between an annual and a perennial plant during my biology 11 class without any hesitation. I would help my dad water the plants and he even brought me along to work on several occasions. When I was younger, my dad would give me the job of labelling all of his catalogues with his business stickers. Friends and family constantly rely on my father’s for advice on where and when to plants bulbs, which plants to buy and how to keep them growing. I would watch my dad create ravishing centerpieces as gifts for special events, including weddings. All of his hard work and dedication that he puts into his job is truly an inspiration. Even when her returns home from his job, he will come home and work away in the back yard, creating a lush, green paradise.
As I begin to study to achieve my bachelor of education, I hope that I will have the same impact on the children that I teach. I hope to show them how to truly be passionate about the things they love. They world is constantly telling people that they cannot accomplish their dreams, and I wish to show the younger generation that they should not lose faith in what they strive for. While I may not be specializing in the area of horticulture, I believe that is has had a great impact on my life. Some people struggle to keep a potted plant alive for several weeks, and thanks to my dad’s persistence, I am able to care for an entire garden. The Jane Stock Foundation scholarship means a great deal to me because it will help me further my education, which I will one day use to help other gain a good and structured education.
During my last year of high school at St. John Brebeuf, I was greatly involved with my school, my church, and my community. I was a leader in Student Council, where I helped plan events and create a welcoming student body. I was also the manager for the basketball team, as a member of Alpha, a faith-focused program for the grade 9 students. In my church community, I attended the youth group, which included helping with pancake breakfast and planting bulbs on the church grounds. I am currently a part of the ‘Volunteen’ program where I volunteer at the Langley Memorial hospital as well as the thrift store, Penny Pinchers, which is connected to the hospital. I truly believe that horticulture has had a great effect on my youth and will help me grow further as I begin the next chapter of my life.”
Sam Van Noort
“My upbringing was not only influenced by the horticulture industry, but in many ways it was a defining feature of my childhood. I spent countless hours in the yard at home – weeding, planting, learning and my family and became know for our involvement with flowers and bulbs. Beyond our own yard, we kids were all eager to help from a young age – and all of us worked with the family business from childhood. As the child of Frank Van Noort, one of four owners of Van Noort Bulb, we learned early on that the values instilled in us while working there would help us in the rest of our lives. At the time, while weeding row after row after row, I might have disagreed with that particularly rosy outlook, but looking back now it allowed me to gain the perseverance and concentration that enables me to overcome challenges in work and school.
Working in the industry has not only allowed me to obtain these life skills, but it has also provided another vein of inspiration in a way. My post secondary plans revolve around obtaining my business degree from the University of Victoria with a focus on entrepreneurship. These two intertwining interests of entrepreneurship and agriculture have always intriqued me. In fact, it actually inspired my counsin’s and I to start our own side venture where we planted, and produced our own novelty cut flowers. We cared for the plants from planting through distribution, spoke with potential customers and actually ended up generating a tidy profit for the high-schoolers we were.
I often find that those that have worked in the industry long enough tend to forget about the impact that their products and work might have on someone. I am reminded of a time where I was renting a place here in Victoria and I noticed the landlord’s planters were dismally empty. I managed to bring some yellow daffodils along on my next rip and planted the bins chock full. When I moved out a few months later, I had mostly forgotten about them – until I received a call from my overjoyed former landlord thanking me profusely for the gorgeous blooms that were opening up. That call is a constant reminder of the joy that flowers can provide to your local community.
I owe a lot to the agriculture industry – it has provided my family their livelihood and allowed me the opportunity to attend school. I worked every weekend and every break at the family business an it really inspired that entrepreneurial spark that I expect to apply in the agricultural industry. However, as much as I do love spending time our in the field, I do believe its important to get the necessary education to support my endeavours. This scholarship would push me one step closer towards my business degree – one step closer to being able to return to the industry that has provided so much for me.”
Elk Lake Garden Centre
Paridon Horticultural Ltd.
Sam Van Noort
Van Noort Bulb Company Ltd.
Sticks 'N Stones Nursery
Think Green Landscaping Ltd.
Alexander Johnsen - Howkins
Specimen Trees Wholesale Nursery Ltd.
Tyler De Jong
Misty Meadow Nursery
Ethical Concrete Solutions Inc.
Environmental Farm Planners Ltd.
Candy Can Nursery
Pond Doctor Water Garden Specialists
Ryan De Jong
Misty Meadow Nursery
Contour Landscape Installation & Design Ltd.
BC Plant Health Care Inc.