I’m Yari Nielsen. I’ve worked as a Parks Technician for the City of Langford for the past three years. Here is my story…
Q: What do you love about your job?
A: There’s a lot of freedom. I work in the area of maintenance and operations contractor and supervision. I oversee contractors and I’m in the field 4-6 hours a day checking on the contractors and the works that is done on trees and in the parks. I love to be out of the office and liaising with stakeholders and contractors. I am a registered forest technician so I oversee the tree work that is done in the city for the engineering and parks departments.
Q: How did you come to decide to pursue a career in this occupation?
A: I came from a forestry background. I was looking to get out of forestry and a parks position came available. We are a small department where there are a parks manager, park planner, parks technician and parks assistant. We rely on our contractors to get a lot of work done.
Q: What are good traits or skills that someone should have when considering this career?
A: A diploma or degree in a natural resource field and additional courses in tree work (arborist or danger tree assessing). Riparian area regulations (RAR), which are provincial regulations for working within protected areas of creeks, streams and lakes. It is a 2-3 day course. Anything to do with turf and grass training and irrigation system training. Be able to deal well with the public and have good working relationships, patience and good manners.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering a career in the Parks Sector?
A: Additional training and courses through colleges. Port Townsend has a 3-year program Pacific Northwest resource management school. It’s a municipal parks specific training. You may already need to be a park employee. Have your employer sponsor you to attend. It is held in February. Have a background or experience in the natural resource field and turf management and work in areas such as public works (labourer), horticulture, parks planning or landscape architecture.
Q: Do you have any hiring practices tips to share?
A: Take the necessary training and courses, especially for upper level positions: You need to know about grass, trees, shrubs and flowers.