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Pitcher plant flower
Pitcher plant flower

The Couchiching Conservancy

Mailing Address

Box 704
Orillia, ON L3V 6K7

Office Address

1485 Division Road West
Orillia, ON L3V 6H2

General inquiries

Tel: 705-326-1620
email us

Stewardship inquiries

Tel: 705-326-4643

email Stewardship Program Manager

 

 

 

 

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Mark BissetExecutive Director – Mark Bisset

Email: mbisset@couchconservancy.ca

Learn about Mark's most rewarding experience & more

Favourite phrase: What you gain in the meat you lose in the potatoes.

Indulgence: boats and sailing magazines

What I wanted to be when I was a kid: Explorer

What I love about working at the Conservancy: The privilege of doing work that is aligned with my personal values.

Favourite thing about my job: The sense of hope it gives me.

Most rewarding experience: Leading a group of Grade 1 students through the old growth of Grant’s Woods and seeing them taste the air, touch century-old white pines and marvel at the life in a decaying stump. When a white-tailed deer broke cover and bolted through the forest, the moment was perfect.

When you’re not at the Conservancy, what do you do with your time: Mess around in sailboats, canoe, camp, cycle, garden, read, ski, snowshoe, swim, weep for the Toronto Maple Leafs and occasionally build things that refuse to be level.

 

 

 

 

David Hawke, Stewardship Program Manager

Stewardship Program Manager – David Hawke

Email: steward@couchconservancy.ca

Learn what Dave's favourite part of his job is & more

Born: Between the eras of indoor plumbing and ipods

Last purchase: Gas, before that food, before that gas, before that food, before that gas…

Favourite word/phrase/quote: “May the beauty of Nature always surprise and delight you!”

What I wanted to be when I was a kid: Indian Scout

Favourite place I have visited: a big open rock surface overlooking a beaver pond in the depths of Severn Twp

Favourite season and why: October: fall colour, no bugs, cool weather

First job: cutting French fries at JM&Js restaurant (Orillia)

What you love about working at the Conservancy: being outside, the great co-workers, the fabulous volunteers, the steadfast donors (really, it’s all true!)

Favourite part about your job: Being on the land, and being around when pizza is brought in for meetings

Favourite place in the Couchiching region: where ever there are rocks and trees and beaver ponds

 

 

 

Dorthea Hangaard, Project Manager

Project Manager – Dorthea Hangaard

Email: dorthea@couchconservancy.ca

Learn about Dorthea's background

I grew up in the Couchiching Region and spent my childhood climbing trees, rowing the waters of Back Bay on Lake Simcoe and downhill skiing at Horseshoe Valley. Those were the days of DDT and the Silent Spring, and I watched the last two Great Blue Heron leave Back Bay for the winter and never return. It is heartening to see that so many bird species have recovered and are back in our area.

Before coming to the Couchiching Conservancy, I worked for the conservation of the ocean on BC’s Central Coast, ensuring that BC’s deep sea corals and sponges have protection. I built a small cabin and lived off the grid and it was all a very good adventure.

Protecting habitat has been my passion since we entered the 21st century, as it is obvious to me that it is one of our great hopes for riding out the destruction we have wrought on the planet. It is more meaningful than words can express to be protecting habitat with the Couchiching Conservancy on the land that raised me.

Contact me about the Copeland Forest Stewardship Initiative and Landowner Stewardship Projects.

 

 

 

TanyaDevelopment Coordinator – Tanya Clark

Email: tanya@couchconservancy.ca

Find out what Tanya's perfect day would be & more

Born: Barrie, ON (grew up in Orillia)

Favourite quote: Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Anthony J. D’Angelo

Indulgence: Junior Mints and buying music on iTunes.

Your perfect day: Hiking the Lookout Trail in Algonquin in the Fall, spending time with friends, playing games (my new favourites are Apples to Apples and Sequence)

Favourite place I have visited: New Zealand! I was there for a month in 2011. I did the Tongariro Crossing, one of the top ten hikes in the world and also hiked on Franz Josef Glacier. I absolutely loved it!

Fondest memory: Seeing my mom for the first time after travelling for four months (yaa…I cried).

Before working at the Conservancy: I was working in health care administration for two years (I know…totally different than land conservation). I was responsible for planning large scale events and some human resources work such as social events and website work.

What you love about working at the Conservancy: The passion. People are very passionate about this issue and it is great to see their dedication.

Favourite part about your job: Meeting new people and protecting what makes this area special.

Favourite place in the Couchiching region: Grant’s Woods. I love the walking trails.

 

 

 

Ron Reid Carden Program CoordinatorCarden Coordinator – Ron Reid

Email: ronreid@couchconservancy.ca

Find out what Ron's superpower would be & more

Born: Chesley, ON, over in southern Bruce County

Indulgence: Escaping the office to go birding

Unverified claim to fame: “The Bird House Lady’s Husband”

If I could change the world: I would have every one of us wake up to the real and present danger posed by climate change.

Your perfect day: Exploring a pristine stream by canoe with Janet, on a perfect sunny and bug-free day.

What I wanted to be when I was a kid: A farmer

Favourite place I have visited: Kenya

If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Telescopic vision for zooming in on distant birds

Favourite season and why: Spring – the renewal of hope

Fondest memory: Camping beside a remote rapids in Wabikimi Wilderness Park

First job: Scrubbing ponds and feeding ground liver to trout at a fish hatchery

Before working at the Conservancy: A natural heritage consultant for 20 years

What you love about working at the Conservancy: The feeling of being able to make tangible accomplishments in protecting nature

Favourite part about your job: Meeting people of all sorts, finding innovative ways to make projects happen

Favourite place in the Couchiching region: Granite barrens south of Severn River

What has been your most rewarding experience at the Conservancy so far? Bringing Grant’s Woods into our ownership, and converting the house to office space.

When you’re not at the Conservancy, what do you do with your time? Birding, canoeing, building birdhouses.

 

 

 

Gay Guthrie volunteer coordinatorVolunteer Coordinator – Gay Guthrie

Email: volunteer@couchconservancy.ca

Find out Gay's favourite place she has visited & more

Born: Toronto; moved to Orillia twenty odd years ago

Favourite place I have visited: Andalusia in Spain- barren windswept landscapes, tiny towns of whitewashed houses, tropical gardens, sophisticated cities, thousands of years of history, fabulous food…

Before working at the Conservancy: I worked in museums and art galleries here and in Toronto and then owned my own shop in Orillia for nearly ten years.

Indulgence: poking around in antique shops

What I love about working at the Conservancy: the genuine dedication to protecting and preserving the natural heritage of one of the most beautiful and diverse parts of Ontario

 

 

 

Julia WolstEducation Coordinator – Julia Wolst

Email: education@couchconservancy.ca