Hayley Gong (Forestry)

Hayley GongPrince Albert National Park, Waskesiu Lake, Saskatchewan

Prince Albert National Park consists of two ecoregions: Mid-Upland Boreal and Boreal Transition. It is home to a large variety of plant and tree species, which provides food to support larger organisms such as the bison. One of the keystone species at this park, the free-roaming plains bison, helps shape the land by stomping and wallowing on the ground, hence eliminating the suckering aspen from taking over the grassland areas. I learned about the ethnobotany of the plants found in this park where I was able to practice my plant identification skills. During my work term as an assistant park interpreter, I got to work with the most welcoming interpretation team. Their utmost support had motivated me to be an active learner and be confident when speaking to the public.  I was also involved with the process on how to plan and execute interpretative programs at a national level. There is a lot of consideration in creating a program to include people of all ages so that everyone is aware of the importance of keeping our ecosystem healthy and lively.  If it weren’t for Co-op, I would have never gotten the opportunity to travel independently outside the province and see other environments outside the comfort of my hometown.