Jessika Corkum-Gorrill

Forest and Environmental Officer, City of Charlottetown

1. What are your proudest accomplishments?

Getting people outside and planting trees for their first time is a very rewarding experience. I’m proud of the experiences in nature that I’ve been able to offer and cherish the thousands of volunteers that I’ve worked with to bring nature to our communities. The best experience is going back to sites you’ve had a hand in restoring and seeing them full of life, with the diversity that our parks, streets and green spaces were meant to have.

2. How has the urban forestry field changed since you first entered the profession and what are the biggest opportunities ahead for women in your field?

For my first job in the field, I could not even find a pair of women’s work boots. I ended up buying a pair of men’s boots that were too big. We’ve come a long way! Sadly, I know first-hand that women in forestry are still treated differently. While I’ve seen great improvements towards fair and respectful treatment, there’s still room to grow. There are no limits to what women can achieve in this field. It gives me great pleasure to see women working across so many forestry and urban forestry sectors. When I first started out, female arborists were few and far between, but these numbers are definitely on the rise. The future is bright for women in urban forestry!

3. What is one piece of advice you have for young girls and women that want to get into the urban forestry field?

Hold your head high and be confident in your abilities. You are as deserving as anyone else to be in the urban forestry field. At the same time, this is a field where you are constantly learning. Ask questions, stay current, spend a lot of time in nature to stay connected to the natural world and respect those that have come before as they have a lot to teach you.

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