Green an­niver­sary

Con­ser­va­tion Corps helped Sian French kick­start her ca­reer in the en­vi­ron­men­tal field

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY GARY KEAN

In its 25-year his­tory, the Con­ser­va­tion Corps of New­found­land and Labrador has helped lots of young peo­ple get a start on their ca­reers in the en­vi­ron­men­tal fields.

One of them is Sian French of Cor­ner Brook.

French, who worked as a re­gional su­per­vi­sor with the Con­ser­va­tion Corps in 1995, is now di­rec­tor of pro­vin­cial parks with the Gov­ern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador.

The Spring­dale na­tive had just re­turned from the Univer­sity of Guelph with her bach­e­lor’s de­gree in en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion when she was hired to su­per­vise the Green Teams de­ployed through­out cen­tral New­found­land that sum­mer.

Un­der her watch, the teams in Spring­dale, Grand Falls-Wind­sor and St. Al­ban’s did ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach work in their com­mu­ni­ties, along with projects such as plant­ing trees

and de­vel­op­ing walk­ing trails.

For her, land­ing a job where she could be part of the hir­ing process and have a su­per­vi­sory role was great for her fu­ture re­sume.

“That’s not an op­por­tu­nity many young peo­ple get very early on in their ca­reers,” she said.

“It was a big ca­reer boost for me.” Be­fore head­ing back to univer­sity to pur­sue her master’s de­gree, French gained more valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence by vol­un­teer­ing on the Con­ser­va­tion Corps’ pro­vin­cial board of di­rec­tors.

She knows the or­ga­ni­za­tion and its Green Teams — groups of usu­ally four youth who get as­signed to do con­ser­va­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal work for the sum­mer months — have pro­duced some lead­ers in the en­vi­ron­ment field. For in­stance, one of the team lead­ers un­der her watch a cou­ple of decades ago has since went on to become a lead sci­en­tist with the fed­eral Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans.

“It’s a fab­u­lous pro­gram and it’s nice to see it has had some longevity,” she said. “Hope­fully, it lasts for at least an­other 25 years.”

GARY KEAN/ THE WESTERN STAR

Rory McInnes, left, and Chris­tian Fudge weed the com­mu­nity gar­den the Vine Place Green Team in Cor­ner Brook is work­ing on this sum­mer.

GARY KEAN/ THE WESTERN STAR

Sian French, who is now di­rec­tor of pro­vin­cial parks with the Gov­ern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador, was a re­gional su­per­vi­sor with the Con­ser­va­tion Corps of New­found­land and Labrador back in 1995.

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