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Copeland Stewardship Committee

Copelan Stewardship Committee: Back row from left: Ted Greatrix, Dave Lord, Mary Anne Greatrix, Mike Van Der Jagt, Dorthea Hangaard, Ingrid VanderMarel, Bob Marshall, Kathy Manners (facilitator), Neil Craig. Front Row from left: Kevin Toth, Pat Gottlieb, Carol McIsaac, Pat Woodford, David Kennedy (photo). Absent: Ted Duncan & Bob Miller & Technical Advisory Team.

“The Copeland Forest brings beauty and peace to my life.”

Neil Craig – representing  Residents-at-large  Contact: neil(at)

Ted Duncan – representing Anglers & Hunters

Ted Duncan has had a life long interest in the environment and the out of doors.  He is actively committed to conservation and has been a member of the Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club since 1974.  Ted is currently President of the Club (for the past 4 years) and has filled a number of other positions on the Executive including secretary.  Also during his time as a member he has been Chairman of the education, environment and membership committees at various times.

As a professional teacher for over 30 years, Ted engaged in Outdoor Education activities both in class and outdoors.  He took his elementary classes out to experience nature on numerous trips – hiking, visits to the MNR’s Frost Centre and camping (even a few times in Copeland Forest).  Since retirement in 1999, Ted was a coordinator/interpreter in the spring Outdoor Program at MTM’s Tiny Marsh from 2003 to 2012.

Other activities that Ted has been involved with are Orillia Youth Basketball as coach, manager and Past President, Mariposa Folk Festival as an organizer and Past President and Orillia Youth Soccer as coach, organizer, referee and Past President.  Currently he is Secretary of the Huronia District Soccer Association and has held other positions in that organization for the last 20 years.  A volunteer to the core!

Ted believes that Copeland Forest is one of Ontario’s hidden gems; but not for long.  There are few large wild areas left in S. Ontario, close to the millions of people in the Golden Horseshoe.  He believes that we must protect it before it is lost; but we must also use it to connect our increasingly urban population to their natural heritage.  He sees it as a big job for all who care about Copeland.  Ted feels that we can do it if we work hard, cooperate and share this wonderful place called Copeland Forest.  Contact:  .


Mary Anne GreatrixMary Anne Greatrix – representing Mountain Biking

Copeland Forest is my backyard.  And it is the very best backyard.  Living in Horseshoe Valley, adjacent to Copeland has given me the opportunity to explore and enjoy the forest on an almost daily basis.  With over 4000 acres of incredibly diverse beauty, Copeland offers a new experience every time.  My husband Ted and I first discovered Copeland on mountain bikes about 12 years ago, and now along with a group of Copeland regulars we enjoy year-round outings that  include Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and hiking.  All of these outings fall under the general category we like to call  “Forest Bathing in the Leafy Decompression Zone”.  It is so rejuvenating!

It is very important to me that we work together to look after the future of this untamed forest as a place to explore and discover all the wonders of nature for generations to come.  Copeland is like no other wild space in an increasingly urban environment.  We must protect it by educating everyone who uses it, thereby creating an army of Copeland ambassadors spreading the word about taking good care of our magnificent forest.  maryannegreatrix(at)

Ted Greatrix – representing Mountain Biking

Ted GreatrixTed just retired following a 40 year career with Enbridge.  He and his wife Mary Anne have been recreating in the Copeland Forest three to four times per week for more than 17 years.  Since 2001 they have resided adjacent to the Copeland Forest. They mountain bike and hike in the summer and in the winter they nordic ski and snowshoe.  More recently they have been introducing their five and three year old grandchildren (the ten month old is just about ready) to the wonders of the Copeland Forest.

Ted’s favourite season is winter although he loves to go through the changes each season brings to the forest (1st ride, 1st ski, 1st hike).

He sees the Stewardship Committee as an important and very challenging initiative that will strive to ensure the long term natural sustainability of this beautiful resource for all user groups.  cfsc_mtb1(at)  .

David Kennedy – representing the Couchiching Conservancy

David has been hiking and skiing up in the Copeland Forest for over twenty years.  When he retired from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, he and his wife Margaret moved up closer to the Forest.

David has had a lifelong commitment to conservation and has been the Chair of the Sierra Club of Ontario (earlier in his career), Chair of the first major North American Acid Rain Conference, a board member and secretary of the Couchiching Conservancy.  He is also a member of the Bruce Trail Association and the Ganaraska Trail Association.

With Mark Bissett and board members, David developed the Copeland Forest Stewardship Initiative to develop an inventory of the Forest ecology and respond to the pressures facing the Forest from increased use.  He continues to serve as the Chair of the Project Advisory Committee, giving advice to the Conservancy on the project and monitoring the results achieved.

When David is in the Forest, he also always has his camera with him as he observes and captures the spirit of the Forest, its flowers, trees and streams. He particularly delights in the “cathedral of the Forest” found in the Oro Moraine area. “I find the Forest a place of continuing wonder and beauty and want to ensure we can always enjoy the Forest.”  valleyedge(at)

2013_05_11_Dave Lord croppedDave Lord – representing Naturalists

Dave Lord is the current president of the Brereton Field Naturalists Club, and lives right beside the Copeland.  He does an annual bird survey in Copeland as a volunteer for the Forest Bird Monitoring Program through Environment Canada, and has also volunteered for the Env Canada Marsh Monitoring Program on Georgian Bay.

In his earlier life he worked across Canada and abroad  as a civil engineer in the petroleum industry, returning to Ontario about 10 years ago.  He has a special interest in preserving the unique characteristics and charm of the Copeland Forest, through proper care and custody of the trail network, as well as preserving the legacy of ecologically sensitive areas for future generations.    “If I had been aware of this great forest in our area, I’d have moved back here earlier!”  Contact:  .

Bob Marshall – representing Hiking 

Bob MarshallI graduated as a civil engineer and have worked for the Federal and Provincial Governments, a private engineering consulting firm, and have taught at the University of Guelph and Georgian College. I also had a two year civil engineering assignment with CIDA (the Canadian International Development Agency) in Malaysia. I moved to an acreage under forest management just south of Horseshoe Valley in 1979. I am married with three married sons and six grandchildren. My main activities in Copeland Forest have been hiking and skiing. My favourite  season is the fall because of mild temperatures and no flies. The Copeland Stewardship Committee is important in order to keep this resource intact for future generations.  Contact:  blmarshall2(at)

Carol McIsaac – representing Horseback Riders

Carol McIsaacCarol McIsaac is an avid equestrian, who loves to help people have a positive equine experience. Certified to instruct both able bodied and special needs people, Carol loves her horses (and mule) and spends any extra time riding whenever possible.

Her trail experience started with the Dundas Valley Conservation Authority, where she was selected from a group of her peers to sit on the Trail Users Group, to help come up with etiquette guidlines, so that all people could enjoy the Dundas Valley trails in harmony. She has also represented the equine groups with the Ontario Trails Council and Trans Canada Trail, Huronia Trails and Greenways and with the Uhthoff Trail Committee.

She loves to ride and loves to promote shared use trails. She, along with her husband Todd, have travelled to different areas of the province giving trail etiquette demonstrations.

The thing that Carol loves most about the Copeland Forest is its trails, and diverse ecosystems. Riding in the forest is a different experience each time it is visited, as things in nature always evolve.

Carol and her husband Todd live near Warminster and run a farm called Rocking Chair Ranch.  Contact:  rockingchairranch(at)

Pat Gottlieb – representing Horseback Riders

Kevin Toth – representing Horseshoe Resort

Mike Van der Jagt – representing Anglers & Hunters

Mike Van der jagtI was raised in Muskoka and my best friend lived in Orillia.  We spent our childhood and youth hunting and fishing all the forests and waterways of Muskoka and Simcoe County.  In 1982, with a specialized honors degree in Comparative Psychology from the University of Guelph tucked under my arm, I left the area to pursue a 30 year career with the Ontario Provincial Police, returning to Orillia  in 1997 to finish my career, retiring in 2011.

I currently live in the City of Orillia with my wife Chris and approximately 50 racing pigeons.  I still hunt and fish every chance I get and am currently a member of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and a director of the Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club.

I see Copeland Forest as a remarkable natural asset for the area.   Its tremendous biodiversity offers so many opportunities to experience nature in so many ways.  The huge population within easy commuting distance of Copeland is both a blessing and a challenge.  It is so important to protect this resource and at the same time offer its riches to all these potential and varied users.  It is this difficult yet essential balancing act that makes the work of the Stewardship Committee so critical.

My favorite season is spring.  I love to see the animals and lands undergoing their annual renewal rituals.  I love the sound of snow melting and trickling away and the evenings punctuated by the song of the spring peepers busting out of every marshy depression and forest puddle.  mrvanderjagt(at)

Ingrid VanderMarel – representing the Couchiching Conservancy

Ingrid works as a student exchange coordinator facilitating exchanges between high school students throughout Canada and Europe.  She and her family moved to Horseshoe Valley in 1998 and she began immediately to explore the Copeland Forest, having grown up in the bush of northern Ontario and always needing to be in the woods.  She lives close enough to walk directly into the forest and is hiking or snowshoeing on its many trails 3-4 times a week all year long, except in the summer when she prefers to canoe and kayak on the cottage lake up north.

Her favourite seasons are spring and fall due to the noticeable transition in the woods, and winter because of the great silence the snow brings.  A dedication to keep the forest healthy and  protected so that it will always benefit lovers of the outdoors makes membership on the Copeland Stewardship Committee a natural fit and a way to return to the forest the many benefits she has received from it over the years. Contact Ingrid:   forestvdm(at)

Pat Woodford – representing Naturalists

The Copeland Forest is the largest upland forest in Southern Ontario.  It is used by many groups.  Hopefully through the Stewardship Committee the ecological significance of the Forest can be maintained and the recreational uses enjoyed.

I have been living in the area for 17 years and have been using the Copeland forest for over 20 years.  The activities I enjoy most three are bird watching and botanizing – particularly looking at ferns and also cross-country skiing.

I am a retired high school teacher and I mainly taught chemistry but also environmental science and biology.  My teaching included many ecological and environmental field trips.

I have been an active naturalist for over 50 years.  Some of my naturalist activities include leading trips in the Arctic, Labrador and locally.  I was a cofounder of the Long Point Bird Observatory and a former president of the Orillia Naturalists’ Club.  One of my hobbies is international birdwatching.

Favourite place I have visited:  Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

  • Abandoned Trail - Copeland Forest

    Abandoned Trail - Copeland Forest