John Helder

Secretary

City of Edmonton Community Services

A horticulturist and received his horticultural education at the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture, Niagara Falls, Ontario. After working at Brock University and subsequently as Superintendent of the Niagara Parks Greenhouses, John came to Edmonton in 1977 to the position of Curator at the Muttart Conservatory and held the position of Director for most of his eighteen years at Muttart. From 1995 he was the Principal of Horticulture for the City of Edmonton, and retired in 2012. In that position, he worked with many varied beautification and naturalization activities, programs and partnerships. He has led Edmonton’s involvement with Communities in Bloom. Under this banner, he has been active as an advocate for community involvement and empowerment. He is convinced that everyone benefits when we work together to make our community greener, more beautiful and liveable.

Working with the community, John is an advocate for community greening and he strives to raise awareness of the importance of nature in the urban setting. He works with community gardens, partners in parks, development of outdoor classrooms and natural area stewardship. At present, he is vice president of the Friends of the University of Alberta Devonian Garden.

John is especially interested in the practical application of LID principles that contribute to biodiversity and a healthy urban environment.