Our Board

Members of the MMLT board are volunteers who oversee the operations and ensure good governance of the organization.  They also actively participate in the delivery of programs. Board  members offer a wide variety of skills including financial, legal, ecological and conservation management, and fundraising.

If you have skills to offer and an interest in joining our Board, please contact us at admin@mmlt.ca

OUR OFFICERS & DIRECTORS

Bob Betcher

Bob Betcher

President

Bob is a retired hydrogeologist, having practiced his profession in Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and Ontario, spanning a 40 year career. Much of his career was spent studying groundwater occurrence, movement and chemistry on a regional scale, particularly examining how groundwater recharges the subsurface and how it exists in discharge areas. In the later parts of his career he began to focus on the concepts of surface water/groundwater interaction and the important role groundwater plays in ecosystem support. He was the recipient of the Robert N. Farvolden Award in 2011 for outstanding contributions to the disciplines of earth sciences and engineering that emphasize the role or importance of groundwater. In “retirement” Bob continues to be actively involved in groundwater activities, serving as the executive assistant to a national groundwater association and volunteering his expertise to other organizations. He also remains busy with self-study of new fields of interest including limnology and biology, and cataloging the plants around his small acreage and cottage.

Don Johnston

Don Johnston

Vice President

Don learned to appreciate the wilderness as a youth on canoe trips in the Quebec Laurentians. He decided to volunteer with MMLT after a visit to Blueberry Mountain. He joined the MMLT Board of Directors in 2017, initially serving as the Chair of the Governance and Personnel Committee. He has since gone on to chair the Membership and Volunteer Engagement Committee and is an active member of the Fundraising and Communications Committee where, among other responsibilities, he coordinates efforts to secure grants and leads the Carbon Offsets Initiative. He currently serves as MMLT’s Vice President.

Don moved to Almonte from Ottawa in 2007 after retiring from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association where he was the Director of Technology and Policy. Previous to that, he was the Director of Housing Innovation for the federal housing agency, CMHC. Don worked as an architect in Canada and abroad after graduating from the McGill School of Architecture in 1971.

When not bicycling or skiing, he and his partner, Georgina Wigley, volunteer their time to help out with MMLT’s public events and with writing and editing its publications and other communications.

Bob Stearns

Bob Stearns

Secretary

Being enthralled with the natural sciences and having a deep interest in medicine, Robert began his career as an agricultural researcher working in the field of animal diseases and immunology. His drive to share his passion for nature, science and discovery ultimately led him from the laboratory to the classroom, teaching high school biology and chemistry in the Ottawa area for over two decades. A 3-year posting in Germany with the Department of National Defence sparked his move to international schools in Europe and Asia and a further two decades involved with school administration and construction projects. Now in partial retirement, he works as a consultant for the International Schools Services in Princeton, NJ. Robert shares his life with Yvonne, an impassioned, dedicated early childhood educator who taught in Canada, Germany and Hong Kong. Living in Almonte, they now enjoy spending their time hiking and canoeing, traversing the local countryside and waterways seeking the quietude of wilderness.

Stephen Kotze

Stephen Kotze

Treasurer

Care and respect for the land have been with Stephen a long time – from planting trees in northern Ontario to starting a tree nursery in southern Lesotho to help combat the effects of soil erosion, including an early interest in permaculture and many years of growing food, organically, for his family on his village lot. As a commerce graduate, he found a way to marry his vision for a more compassionate and just world, and his fundamental respect for all life, with his accounting skills! Consequently, he has worked in and for the voluntary sector for most of his life, including a short stint as Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Network. He currently runs an accounting business that serves numerous not-for-profit organizations and small businesses. His mission is to build financial capacity and understanding, particularly in the non-profit sector, strengthening organizations and their long-term viability through improved financial management processes and systems.

Art Goldsmith

Art Goldsmith

Art’s boyhood interest in nature developed into an understanding of ecology and conservation. After a career in Parks and Environment Canada, which occasionally interfered with his studies of wilderness, Art is now dedicated to his own conservation and ecological studies.

You can follow Art and his exploits at: artnatureculture.blogspot.com

Cathy Keddy

Cathy Keddy

During M.Sc. studies in plant ecology at Dalhousie University, Cathy became a founding director of the Halifax Field Naturalists. She then spent over 25 years as a consulting ecologist on projects from the Yukon to Nova Scotia that ranged from creating ecosystem management plans for national parks to preparing status reports for species at risk, working with government agencies, private industry, and individual landowners. During an eight-year term in Louisiana, she became one of the founding directors of the Land Trust for Louisiana. On returning to Ontario, Cathy was recruited as program chair by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, became active with its environmental issues committee, oversaw MVFN’s receipt of charitable status, and established a highly successful annual banquet. She also shares her expertise as a director of Ontario Nature. Cathy lives with her husband in the woods of Lanark County, surrounded by an ecologist’s dream of forest, bears, and fishers—protected by a conservation easement held by MMLT.

John Kittle

John Kittle

John holds a BSc degree in Physics and MSc in Mathematics, specializing in computer science. John’s engineering career included 25 years in the aerospace/defence and telecommunications industries, plus 15 years as owner/operator of a small management consulting company in Ottawa. Since retiring in 2006, John has been an active contributor to environmental stewardship in eastern Ontario, including 3 years on the Frontenac County Green Energy/Strategic Advisory task force, 2 years researching and presenting environmental impacts of uranium mining to over 20 municipal councils, and 3 years on the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation fostering sustainable local business development. John has a long-standing interest in protecting lands and natural biodiversity from the spread of extractive industries, logging and other threats to our environment. He strongly believes that environmental stewardship plays a key role in our ongoing fight against climate change. John lives in Almonte and enjoys hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing and other outdoor activities. He is a frequent user of the MMLT trail system.

Rob Longair

Rob Longair

Rob developed an appreciation for what E.O. Wilson called “the little things that run the world” during an undergraduate degree at Queen’s University and has focused on insects ever since. After retiring from a faculty position at University of Calgary, where he spent 27 years teaching a wide variety of courses, his favourite of which were field courses, he returned to the Ottawa area where he grew up. He now lives between Almonte and Carleton Place on an acre which he is letting revert to meadow from its formerly well-tended state. Rob has done field work on biodiversity and conservation and insect ecology and behaviour in Ontario and western Canada, parts of the western United States and West Africa and Belize, where he introduced students to the joys of tropical biodiversity, including insect life. He currently volunteers at the Canadian National Collection of Insects in Ottawa, and is a member of the Arthropod Specialist Subcommittee of COSEWIC. Rob is thoroughly enjoying his reintroduction to the landscapes of eastern Ontario, and sees land trusts as a critical component in the protection of biodiversity of all types of flora and fauna.

Simon Lunn

Simon Lunn

Simon developed a fascination for nature and the outdoors as a budding young naturalist while joining his parents for bird banding expeditions and field trips through the wildlands & parks of Ontario and Nova Scotia. His graduation with an MSc. from Acadia University soon led to summer jobs with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Canadian Wildlife Service, & U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. His 30 yr. career included working as Park Naturalist & Planner, Visitor Services Officer and Ecosystem Scientist at national parks & sites across Canada including Kejimkujik, Cape Breton Highlands, Fundy, P.E.I., Waterton Lakes and the Rideau Canal. Simon’s many interests include photography, Citizen Science, hiking, snowshoeing, camping, canoeing, kayaking & travelling. He joined MMLT several years ago after a decade of volunteer work for the Rideau Waterway Land Trust. He and his wife Carolyn live near Smiths Falls.

Rob Rainer

Rob Rainer

Rob and his wife, Mary Lou Carroll, live amidst woodland and wetland in Tay Valley Township.  Rob has worked as an outdoor recreation instructor, a conservationist, and a social justice advocate, and over 1993-2014 held NGO leadership positions at community, regional, and national levels.  In December 2018 Rob also began serving his first term as an elected municipal counsellor.

Over 1997-1999 Rob was one of 15 Canadians and 180 people worldwide who participated in the sixth cohort of a unique, two-year international training program in leadership for sustainable development.  In December 2012, Rob’s efforts to combat poverty in Canada were recognized with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Rob enjoys hiking, canoeing, cycling, snowshoeing, and wilderness travel.  In January 2013 he summited Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, on a fundraising expedition for the charity, Outward Bound Canada.

Jennifer Schnarr

Jennifer Schnarr

Jennifer developed a sense of curiosity, passion and appreciation towards all aspects of nature at a young age. Since then, environmental conservation, respect and education to ensure the legacy of lands have become of particular importance to her. While at Carleton where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology, she became interested in the psychological benefits of Restorative Environments to our sense of well-being, self-awareness and positive mental health. It was Michael Runtz’s course in Nature History that helped her rediscover her sense of our connection with nature and its application to the psychology of well-being.

Prior to retirement, Jennifer worked for the City of Ottawa with Parks, Recreation and Culture, in Finance and most recently with the Ottawa Fire Services. In recent years, she has been actively involved with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) in areas of awareness, advocacy and inclusion for low-vision and blind individuals and communities.

With family roots at Flower Station and in the Clayton area, Jennifer is a resident of Kanata where she enjoys time spent with family and on walks at local nature trails and ponds. Jennifer writes that she is extremely pleased to be joining the MMLT Board and working to further its mission.

EMERITUS COUNCIL

MMLT has an Emeritus Council of retired directors whose knowledge and experience supplements that of the Board of Directors.

The Emeritus Council is comprised of:

Bobby Clarke

Ted Mosquin

Howard Clifford

Judy Watts

Debbie Duffy

Mary Vandenhoff

ANNUAL REPORTS