Linda is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the centre and ensures that guests have all the amenities and services they need to maximize their experience at the GFC. With a lengthy career in journalism, public relations and marketing and forest recreation, as well as several years in senior management, Linda contributes her many experiences in community development and local connectivity to her work at the centre. She is also primarily responsible for the marketing and promotion of the centre which provides her with many opportunities to demonstrate her passion for the value of outdoor education towards healthy child and family development.
Ryan's primary focus is to educate students from all grade levels on the importance of the natural world through hands-on, interactive and fun environmental and outdoor pursuit activities. Once students understand the role and importance the natural world plays in their lives and the connections we have with the world around us, they become stewards for the environment and want to protect it. Ryan also co-directs our Nature Nuts Summer Camp, which is a six-week environmentally themed day camp. When he is not actively engaged in teaching he is busy developing new programs, liaisoning with visiting teachers and keeping statistical data for our programs.
Ryan has an Honours Recreation and Leisure Studies degree from the University of Waterloo and a teaching certificate specializing in Outdoor Education from Queen's University along. Calling on his many years' experience working in a variety of camps and outdoor education centres in Ontario, Ryan brings passion and commitment to the job he does every day.
Megan has always loved learning about and teaching in the natural environment. Working with students in the outdoors is fascinating for her. The enjoyment from watching students learn about themselves and the environment never gets old; it motivates her to push her limits with delivering hands-on, relevant and engaging programs to students of all ages.
Megan earned an Honours degree in Outdoor Recreation Parks and Tourism, as well as a teaching degree specializing in Outdoor Ecological and Experiential Education, both from Lakehead University. Eager to spend more time under the stars, she completed a variety of additional certifications, including Wilderness First Responder First Aid courses and Canoe Tripping, which allow her to lead educational canoe and hiking trips throughout Ontario.
Aaron wants students of all ages to become engaged in the outdoors. By laughing and interacting with the outdoor environment, Aaron believes that we create a connection with the Earth that will foster wonder, passion, and stewardship for its care; however much we perfect the indoors, the outdoors was once and is always our home. Aaron is an outdoor instructor for day and residential visits to the Forest Centre and a co-director of the Nature Nuts Summer Camp at the Millennium Building. He is also integral to the development of new programs incorporating technology and traditional knowledge.
Aaron holds an Honours and Masters degree in Human Biodynamics from McMaster University, a teaching certificate specializing in Outdoor Education from Lakehead University, and an instructors certificate for the National Green Check GPS and GIS Certification Program. When he is not teaching, he can usually be found hiking or paddling somewhere in Ontario with his family and camera close at hand.
Steve has worked for the conservation authority for 13 years and is responsible for the management of all recreational use of the Ganaraska Forest. Steve also coordinates the activity of the Ganaraska Forest Recreational Users Committee and acts as secretary on that committee.
Steve's educational background and work experience relate to forest management and outdoor education and he holds degrees in both forestry and education.
An experienced employee with the GRCA, George is responsible for the maintenance and development of all Authority owned lands, buildings and property. As Fleet Manager, he is also responsible for all Authority vehicles and equipment. In addition, George manages the enforcement of Conservation Areas regulations, and the maintenance of the Authority's Water Control Structures. With a panache for the odd, lunch-time Euchre game, George approaches his work with humour and a gracious spirit that is appreciated by all those who meet and work with him.
Shayne is an Environmental Technologist by training and carpenter by trade, with a passion for the outdoors. He is responsible for the general maintenance of the GFC property, as well as the other 8 conservation areas in the GRCA. His is a long list of maintenance responsibilities, including the operation of the drinking water system at the GFC, forest trail and equipment maintenance, and weekend group supervisor. Shayne offers a lot of support work to the education programs and in his words, is "the handyman of the GFC".
Following a 2016 internship with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA), and some brief stints in environmental education and invasive species management, Gus re-joined the GRCA as the Forest Technician to assist with the on-the-ground implementation and monitoring of the Ganaraska Forest Management Plan. Much like the multi-use nature of the Forest, Gus’ responsibilities can vary greatly. On any given day, Gus could be found inspecting harvest operations, refining sustainable harvest schedules, treating invasive plant species, or creating new ways to map and record conservation values in the Forest. However, his primary responsibility lies in maintaining and improving the Forest inventory data for the Conservation Authority, which serves as the basis for the sustainable use of the entire Ganaraska Forest.
Gus is passionate about long-term sustainable forest management, particularly in regards to conservation, climate change and battling invasive threats. A self-proclaimed ‘student of the game’, Gus is always looking to increase his knowledge about forestry in southern Ontario. He currently holds a Masters degree in Forest Conservation, along with certifications as a Professional Chainsaw Operator, Licensed Forestry Exterminator and Provisional Member with the Ontario Professional Foresters Association. Gus is also simultaneously working towards attaining several other certifications, chiefly his Registered Professional Forester designation.
The centre often hosts high school and post-secondary students for work placements or volunteer hours, and generally hires between five and seven seasonal employees each year.