I’m Len Walters. I’m the Superintendent of Parks Operation for the City of Langley, where I’ve worked for the past 17 years. Before that I was with Vancouver Parks for 22 years. Here is my story…
Q: What do you love about your job?
A: So many things. The interaction with staff and members of the community. You have an opportunity to build relationships.
Q: How did you come to decide to pursue a career in this occupation?
A: I started working for Vancouver Parks when I was 18 years old and worked up through the system. I sampled all of the positions and departments. After 10 years I realized I wanted to be in a leadership role and took night school.
Q: What are good traits or skills that someone should have when considering this career?
A: Enjoy working in the outdoors. Don’t be afraid of the rain. Have a passion for what you do.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering a career in the Parks Sector?
A: Visit Kwantlen University career days to speak to people in the field. If I had to start over I would get a diploma in horticulture and pursue supervisory and computer skills and apprenticeship (gardening). If I were to do it again I would become an arborist as well. Attend the BCRPA Annual Provincial Parks and Grounds Spring Training. This is geared to front line workers and a student rate is provided.
Q: Do you have any hiring practices tips to share?
A: Consider taking the Kwantlen University two-year horticulture program. I hire summer staff from this program. The program gives you the tools you need such as pesticide applicators’ licence and supervisory skills. It’s a broad introduction to the horticulture field.