Outdoors life is perfect fit for Kidane
Ever since he was a young boy, Kidane Callender has loved the outdoors so a career in horticulture seemed like the perfect fit.
Kidane, 19, was recently named as one of four recipients of the Garden Club of Bermuda's scholarships. The CedarBridge Academy graduate has just completed a year studying horticulture and landscaping at Mortonmorrell College in Leamington Spa, UK and is now preparing to transfer to Pershore College in Worcestershire to complete his final two years.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Kidane is spending his summer in Bermuda working part time for the Parks Department as a groundsman gaining valuable, hands-on experience essential to his field. Kidane told The Royal Gazette: “The course teaches me how to maintain good land, maintenance and construction.
“I have been working with the tree surgeon learning how to use chainsaws and other equipment in a safe manner. I am a groundsman so I am looking out for any of my co-workers climbing trees — I am the one who supplies them with water, chainsaws and any other equipment they need.
“Also, I've been learning about different types of trees — how to analyse and how to cut down certain types of trees to protect anyone from harm.
“We work all around the Island. I am located in Marsh Folly but we are called to whatever section of the Island, from the east to the west.
“We have a little job coming up in St George's by Clearwater Middle School next week chopping back some cedar trees that need space. There are still trees with branches messed up from the storm. We are going to remove all the dead branches and cut some of the trees that were damaged by the storm.”
Kidane developed his interest in horticulture as a day-release student in a programme run by Roger Parris who is in charge of The Arboretum for the Parks Department.
The community-inspired project is supported by a number of mostly Governmental organisations including CedarBridge Academy, Court Services, Child and Family Services, Adult Education, the Police, and a counselling service. It is structured to meet the needs of young students who show an interest and commitment in developing their skills in horticulture and its related fields.
But Kidane has always been one for the outdoors. “I just love being outside. From a little kid I wasn't a person who was to be inside all the time — I wanted to be out and experiencing different things, enjoying the freedom and having a good time.
“My daddy works for the ferries and he's an outside person so that's where I got my head from.”
Asked what he hoped to do when he completed his diploma, he added: “I might stay in the UK to get some experience out there for a year and then come back to Bermuda. If I do come back, I can continue working with the Parks Department or even apply for my own business. I want to share the knowledge and skills I learn from overseas and give Parks Department an even better opportunity to keep Bermuda's landscape decent and clean.
“I aspire to keep public property in a good balance for tourism and for anyone who would like to have a tour round our Island and appreciate what we do and how we keep it in a good maintained level. “I would also like to travel so it would be a great experience to go out into different countries and see the different environments.”