As a participant of the summer-long program, Natalie and the other YUFLs were supported by LEAF mentors and gained an array of experiences. Over the course of the summer, Natalie met amazing people and developed valuable skills from tree species identification, to event planning and delivery. Thinking back, what stood out to her was the level of
Participating in the YUFL program motivated her to keep pursuing urban forestry. After wrapping up the program, Natalie went from mentee to mentor. She joined the LEAF team as Volunteer and Stewardship Intern in 2018 and helped deliver the YUFL Program that year. Driven by her passion, she went on to pursue a certificate in arboriculture and urban forestry at Fleming College in 2019, expanding on the knowledge and skills she gained from the YUFL program.
Reflecting on her own journey, she encourages anyone who is looking into a career in urban forestry to get out there and meet as many people as they can. Regarding the YUFL program, she had the following to share:
“Whether you are certain that urban forestry is the end goal or are unsure about what direction you want to head in, the Young Urban Forest Leaders program is an amazing opportunity to test the waters and gain valuable transferable skills!
Want to join the 2021 Young Urban Forest Leaders? We’re accepting applications from Toronto residents, ages 18 to 29 years old, until Sunday, April 4! Learn more.
Lam Tran is the Education Coordinator at LEAF.
This blog is part of a series intended to highlight YUFL alumni. The blogs were written by Lam Tran based on responses collected in 2020 and revised in 2021 with the purpose of sharing YUFL alumni experiences, as participants of the program and their journeys after graduating from it. Read other blogs on the Young Urban Forest Leaders program here.
The Young Urban Forest Leaders Program is funded by the City of Toronto through a Community Planting & Stewardship Grant and the Canadian Tree Fund.