G3 Conservation Corps alum helps grow native ifit trees at CIS
One of the plant nurseries at the University of Guam Center for Island Sustainability (CIS) is filling up with native ifit seedlings thanks to the addition of Jacob Concepcion to the team.
“Our Natural Resources division hired a recent graduate of the G3 Conservation Corps, and he is doing excellent work,” said Else Demeulenaere, associate director of CIS.
Concepcion was born and raised in Guam and remembers hearing people talking about ifit trees (the territorial tree of Guam), but he had never really seen them and did not understand the deeper cultural meaning of the tree.
It wasn’t until he worked on the Guam Restoration of Watersheds (GROW) initiative planting seedlings that he came to know ifit trees.
Through his work at GROW, he learned about the G3 Conservation Corps and was accepted into the second cohort last March. Under the G3 program, he worked in the native plant nursery at Guam DoAg Forestry division where Pat Quenga taught him nursery skills, how to propagate seeds, and nurture native plants with fertilizer and love.
“I love planting ifit and am always on the lookout for seeds. Ifit trees are firm and strong like the people of Guam,” enthused Concepcion.
He collects seeds ifit from trees he knows around the island and germinates them in the CIS nursery. He now takes care of over 70 seedlings, preparing them for outplanting in the native reforestation projects in Guam.
Concepcion is truly grateful for all he learned while working with GROW, the G3 Conservation Corps, and for the opportunity to work outside with plants to help restore native plants in the island. CIS is grateful to have him and the enthusiasm and expertise he brings.