Outdoor Schools

  • By Jessica McGurn
  • 08 Mar, 2016
One thing we at Western Landscape Services are passionate about is educating our future generations about the importance of trees in our urban and natural environments.  We encourage getting in touch with Nature whether you are young or old!
A study according to authors of a recent AAP statement stated the average 8-year-old spends eight hours daily using different forms of media (computers, tablets etc.) This number is even higher for the average teen!  My point here, is not only does screen time need to be monitored in the household, but perhaps different forms of learning in schools is the answer to lowering screen time for our youth.  Learning can be done outside, in Nature.
An amazing thing is happening in North America with the growth of outdoor schools.  Outdoor schools focus on learning in different environments than a class room, for preschool specifically, outdoor schools completely boycott the idea of sitting at a desk and all discovery and learning takes place outside- where kids belong!  They have the freedom to get dirty and explore.  This allows young children to activate all their senses like smell, texture, touch, and taste (be careful with the tasting though!)  Why not learn outside?
Western Landscape Services is actively encouraging students to get outside and be in touch with Nature, we do this through our Plant a Tree, Make Our City Cool school program.  Each year, Pat Mocc goes to 10 schools and educates Grade 6 students about the importance of trees in urban environments.  Students then participate in the planting of a large donated tree on their school property and also get to take home a donated tree seedling.  In our experience, the students love getting outside and planting the tree in rain or shine.  The kids always have so much energy and it makes me realize how critical it is for children to be outside, not only so they can burn some of that energy off but also to reconnect them with Mother Nature.
For more information on Outdoor Schools check out this link from Upworthy which explores numerous outdoor schools in the United States: 7 Forest Schools From Around the Country

Pat Mocc in action! Teaching our future generations that trees are good! 

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By Jessica McGurn 17 Jan, 2018

We all know January can feel long and sometimes depressing due to lack of sunlight and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season now at an end.  But for us landscapers it is a very different story.  This is the time to reflect on last year and gear up for the season ahead, to make plans and set goals!  So how do us landscapers make the month of January a little greener and a little less gloomy in between all that paper work we now have to do? Well, here are some of our suggestions to brighten those long winter days! :) 

By Jessica McGurn 13 May, 2016
Spring, such a beautiful exciting time for us nature lovers.  It often feels like winter drags on through so much of our Spring here in the Northern Hemisphere but it really is a remarkable experience as the outdoors come alive once again.   One thing that I particularly enjoy is all of all the beautiful flowers that come with Spring.  I want to take this time to educate you on the subject of ‘Flowers’ yes, you will always associate Spring with the beautiful Daffodils and Tulips…but what about all the deciduous trees that produce beautiful flowers as well? 
By Jessica McGurn 22 Apr, 2016
Happy Earth Day to all!   At Western Landscape Services we believe Earth is every day, after all we only have one planet so why should we recognize the basis of our existence on just one day? Regardless, to celebrate, we are hitting up our second school of the year for our Plant a Tree Make Our City Cool Program !  The lucky grade 6 class will get outside and help plant a large native tree species on the school property and learn about the importance of trees in our urban environment.
By Jessica McGurn 03 Apr, 2016
To kick off this years first Plant a Tree Make Our City Cool program we decided to travel a really far distance to deliver an educational session to some super cute pre-kindergarden students.  We went all the way to the American School of Guatemala! Well, not literally, but digitally we were able to deliver a great version of Plant a Tree Make Our City Cool.  The focus of the presentation was geared to how ‘Trees are Cool’.  Given the circumstances of using Skype we had to make sure it was really interactive to keep the kids engaged.  Pat Mocc went over his super cool safety equipment, which the kids LOVED…especially the big saw (OOOOoooooo Ahhhhhh). He also brought in many samples of different branches from around our head office which they found particularly fascinating because no branches at this time of year had any leaves, this is something the children only associated with a dead tree in the warm climate of Guatemala.   The class was filled with giggles and many questions about being an arborist who climbs trees!  We even got to see some of the student’s awesome drawings of Pat Mocc and trees!
By Jessica McGurn 08 Mar, 2016
One thing we at Western Landscape Services are passionate about is educating our future generations about the importance of trees in our urban and natural environments.  We encourage getting in touch with Nature whether you are young or old!
By Carol 26 Feb, 2016
As many of you are aware, the Emerald Ash Borer has made itself known in the Kingston area. Future concerns are now being focused on the Acer (Maple) genus. Similarly to what is happening with Ash trees has also happened with Ulmus (Elm) trees in the past. Jog your memory and think of the last time you saw an elm tree? Can’t remember? Dutch elm disease decimated our elm trees in the 1950s. There are very few left, so consider yourself lucky if you have a beautiful, mature elm to admire. Professor John Ball of South Dakota State University states […] The post Our Future Challenges with Emerald Ash Borer appeared first on Western Landscape Services.
By Carol 23 Feb, 2016
Our mission statement here at Western is ‘In Partnership with Mother Nature’ this something we refer to everyday. It is the foundation of our business practices and principles.  In order to effectively follow our mission statement we depend not only on management but also our crews out in the field!
By Carol 23 Feb, 2016
Western Landscape is proud of the community in which we serve. On a Yearly basis we aim to visit 10 schools to educate students about the importance of trees in urban environments. This school in particular was lots of fun as we had two of our arborists compete in a climbing competition in the school’s gymnasium! As you can see the in the video below, the kids were BEYOND excited. Not only does this make me happy students were engaged in an activity we put on for them, but I hope that this will spark our future generations interest in a career in the arboriculture field.
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