This month we are so pleased to recognize the invaluable contributions, wisdom and spirit of longtime Nature Trust volunteer and acclaimed UNB botanist Gart Bishop. Nature Trust staffer and fledgling botanist, Viktoriia Spitsyna, shares this heartfelt reflection on her time mentoring beneath Gart during plant surveys at our yet-to-be-officially-named nature preserve in the Gagetown area.
“When a sense of duty calls you and your interest goes beyond basic responsibilities. When you set the highest goals for yourself and achieve them with a smile on your face, despite aching knees. Being a volunteer is a calling.
I think this is how the talented and absolutely passionate botanist Gart Bishop lives and works. His depth of knowledge, commitment and patience make him a terrific teacher and mentor. He seems to explain the workings of plant keys as if for the first time, so much so his eyes light up. And even if you don’t get it the first time, he will patiently and with the same passion repeat it a thousand more times until a clear understanding emerges in a student’s mind.
Gart uses the same approach in his work with Nature Trust. Traveling with a team of young conservationists, students and trainees, he enthralls everyone with his passion for plant collection and identification. He directs the eye to look for the new and unique and patiently explains how each species is different from the other. He always has time to collect everything around him, for to him, every plant is precious: an endless thirst for research and a tireless desire to share his knowledge.
From myself and all of us at the Nature Trust, thank you, Gart. We look forward to many more exciting joint expeditions to explore new places in our beautiful province and we wish you good health and inquisitive students. —With respect and faith of heart, Viktoriia.”