Young Urban Forest Leaders

Rooting a Career in Urban Forestry with the Young Urban Forest Leaders

Natalie squatting down next to recently planted tree
Becoming a Young Urban Forest Leader (YUFL) proved to be a formative experience for Natalie Secen. She joined the YUFL program with an interest in urban forestry and now, four years later, has a fulfilling career working for a private tree care company. How did this all happen? Natalie shares with us how joining the YUFLs helped root her career in urban forestry.

Connecting to Your Calling through the Young Urban Forest Leaders

For Lucy Szczesniak, her interest in the natural environment and urban forest set off a chain of rewarding professional, personal and spiritual developments in her life. Becoming a Young Urban Forest Leader (YUFL) gave her clarity in the next chapter of her life and connected her to a new network. Hoping to inspire others to join the YUFL program, she shares her experience and guiding principles.

Nurturing the Seed that the Young Urban Forest Leaders Program Planted

Young women by sign, "Park(ing) Day"
Willow couldn’t have predicted the impact that participating in the Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) program would have on her life. Driven by her desire to learn more about the urban forest, she found herself developing skills through the program and emerged as a leader in her community. Now, she reflects on her experience and the opportunities ahead.

Stewardship, Education and Volunteering in an Uncertain Year

six people celebrating surrounded by young recently planted trees
Throughout 2020, our Community Programs team was tasked with adapting many of our programs and events to follow ever-evolving public health guidelines. Despite the many changes, we were able to continue to engage volunteers and community members with fun and informative programs aimed at protecting and enhancing the urban forest. Here are some of the year’s accomplishments.

Young Urban Forest Leaders -- A Kickstart to a Career in Urban Forestry

Woman grabbing a leaf to observe
Being a young adult is a time of tremendous growth, both personally and professionally, as people move into “the real world.” Navigating this transition can be difficult, particularly for underrepresented individuals looking to enter a field dominated by other demographic groups. LEAF developed the Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) program to support underrepresented young folks who are at the beginning of their careers in urban forestry. Funded in part by the City of Toronto through an Urban Forestry Grant, this program sets participants up to be in the driver’s seat of their own career.