Urban Forestry Technician students had a special surprise up their sleeve for professor Katrina Van Osch-saxon and program coordinator Tom Mikel at the Women in Trees event on Saturday, April 22. The students announced they are planting trees in honour of Katrina and Tom’s teaching excellence and passion for environmental studies.
After the speaker panel, FastStart Fleming and the Office of Sustainability presented Urban Forestry Technician students Jessica Carthy and Tyler Petersen with a $1500 cheque for winning the Green Your Campus pitch competition.
The competition was co-hosted by Fleming’s Office of Sustainability, FastStart and the Trent Green Team, on March 11, 2017, and featured 10 Fleming groups and 25 groups from Trent University. Projects were judged by Fleming and Trent faculty based on presentation and potential effect on meeting the college’s sustainability plan goals. Jessica and Tyler’s pitch was to plant trees on campus in honour of Fleming College’s 50th anniversary.
While accepting the cheque, Jessica and Tyler asked their classmates to join them at the front of the Glenn Crombie Theatre at Frost Campus. Jessica announced that she and her peers would be planting the first two trees that day in recognition of Katrina and Tom for their passion in environmental studies, excellence in teaching, and creating opportunities for students.
“We are doing this for you Katrina, you are someone we admire a lot. You started Women in Trees last year and have grown it to be a wait-listed event,” said Jessica. “And Tom, you are someone we can come to with our ideas. Tom and Katrina, you work hard to see other people succeed. It is one thing to teach and another to inspire. Today two Red Oak trees will be planted where we’re doing our tree climbing. On behalf of the UFT class of 2017, we’d like to say thank you.”
The students decided to plant Red Oak trees because the species is hardy, native to Canada, and will thrive at Frost Campus.
“We know it’s going to be planted right and pruned well,” said Katrina, who thanked the students on behalf of herself and Tom. “150 years from now they’ll be the two nicest trees on campus.”
The students planted the trees while event participants enjoyed a tree climb in the beautiful weather. Women in Trees is organized by Katrina to showcase the variety of roles and opportunities for women in the fields of Urban Forestry, Forestry and Arboriculture.