Jesse has a BSc. in Forest Resource Management, and a background in tree planting, discipleship ministry, outdoor guiding and leadership training. Most recently, he acquired his certification in Permaculture Design. In addition to supporting and inspiring interns in their journeys of faith and life, he works as the Environmental Restoration Biologist – managing community based restoration work in our watershed.
Jesse supervises a variety of habitat restoration projects, both on-site (ex. our new wetland at Brooksdale!) and off-site (ex. at the Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club). His work in Brooksdale’s plant nursery helps support all of these projects.
What motivated you to get involved in habitat restoration?
I wanted to steward my energy well and to utilize my past experience in forestry. It started with an interest in how to make conservation work “practical.” If we study species at risk, how does that knowledge translate into the landscape? I’m interested in how conservation can become more than just data.
What gives you most satisfaction in your work?
Being outside! I especially like planting trees…and walking the land with the landowners.
What are the challenges you confront most regularly?
Scale and time. We can have high impact on little areas, but even a small watershed involves a lot of projects, manpower, and time.
What are some of your plans for future habitat restoration in the Little Campbell River watershed?
We’re working towards finalizing a restoration strategy plan for the entire watershed. It will really help us prioritize and focus on high impact areas. As for long-term goals….. a riparian buffer throughout the whole watershed would be ideal!
Got a favorite plant?
I’ve been interested in wapato lately. It’s got an edible bulb, and it’s traditionally used by the First Nations. It also grows quite productively in the right conditions.
I heard that you’re in the midst of reading 10 books! Could you tell us what some of them are?
Anam Cara by John O’Donohue, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and The Story of Art by Ernst Gombrich.
More about the Conservation team’s Native Plant Nursery…..
A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat, and occurred there prior to European contact (there are over 3000 in BC). These plants have co-evolved with local animals, fungi, and other plants and form a network of complex and vital relationships. Native plants are important for the wildlife of our region and they are easy to keep as they naturally occur here without added inputs (water and fertilizer). You may already know some: western red cedar (Thuja plicata) or salal (Gaultheria shallon) but others may be less familiar: mock orange (Philadelphus lewisii) or western trillium (Trillium ovatum). Contact Jesse Wildeman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details.