The Ontario Urban Forest Council (OUFC) is a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the health of the urban forests in the province. The OUFC was formerly the Ontario Shade Tree Council (OSTC). In 2001, we changed our name to better reflect our ecological approach to urban forests and arboriculture. The OSTC evolved as a Council in 1964 from the Metro Toronto and Region Dutch Elm Disease Control Committee which was established in 1961 to investigate the control of Dutch Elm Disease.Our membership includes arborists, foresters, landscape architects, nurserymen, planners, municipalities, conservation authorities as well as many individuals from the public interested and concerned about trees. We are an active community group, with some of the following as examples:
- We provide information about the benefits of trees and advise about their conservation
- Provide volunteer speakers for public education events
- Host an educational display at various community events
- Offer periodic educational workshop
- Host an Annual Urban Tree Conference along with our AGM each November
- Advocate for urban forest conservation working with local urban tree organizations
- Develop cross-sectoral partnerships to advance the principles of urban forest planning, stewardship and conservation.
Board of Directors – 2012
Toni Ellis –President
Toni has a long track record of working on environmental programs which include being involved in the development of the Blue box and writing and field testing a number of children’s programs promoting various environmental issues. She is a founding board member and Director of the Elora Centre for Environmental Excellence, now one of Canada’s most accomplished green communities. In the fall of 2005, she launched her community’s first Heritage Tree program – an OUFC/OHTA pilot project. That program has now branched out to become NeighbourWoods, a tree advocacy and education program working in her rural community of Centre Wellington, with a population of about 21,000 and located 20 km north of Guelph.
Jack Radecki, OUFC Executive Director, from 2000.
Jack holds a B.Sc.F. 1976 from the University of Toronto, Since 1977, he is the Supervisor of Arbor Services for the Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries and also is a registered Consultant ASCA # 342 with the American Society of Consulting Arborists, on a part time basis. Before 1976 he held forestry field placements with Manitoba Forestry Resources and Great Lakes Paper Company out of Thunder Bay and worked for one year with Metro Toronto Parks Department as Arborist Trainee. Presently he volunteers to serve as the unpaid OUFC-Executive Director, and was OSTC President 1997.He also volunteers as an advisory board member -Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay – Arboriculture and Urban Forestry programs and as advisory board member -Seneca College – King Campus – Environmental Landscape Management firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Wynnyczuk, Treasurer
Peter has been involved in Urban Forestry for over 30 years at the Municipal level and was President of the Ontario Shade Tree Council, now the Ontario Urban Forest Council. He has also been supportive of Arborist related Committees and Activities.
He is the urban forest supervisor with the Town of Richmond Hill.
Brenlee Robinson, Vice President
Brenlee combines her Master of Forest Conservation (University of Toronto), and Master of Arts in Teaching (Oakland University) to educate urbanites on the importance of our forests. Her presentations to community groups reflect her particular interest in the impacts of healthy urban forests on mental health and safe neighbourhoods. Brenlee’s Board of Directors experience includes serving as President of Mosaic Outdoor Clubs of America, an organization of 20 clubs with a 1000 member base, as well as president of the local club. In Toronto’s urban forest she has done work in education and outreach at LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), and her work with the Harbord Village Residents Association resulted in many new trees in that neighbourhood.
James Lane is the Program Manager, Forestry at the Regional Municipality of York. James is responsible for the urban forest/street tree program, management of the York Regional Forest and administration of the Region’s Forest Conservation By-law. He has worked on several projects including the development of the Region’s street tree preservation and planting design guidelines, review of street tree planting practices, and the Region’s response to the Emerald Ash Borer.
James holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of New Brunswick. He is a Registered Professional Forester and an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist. James has worked for the Regional Municipality of York for 12 years.
Andrea Dawber has a background in communications, fundraising and education. In 2005, she founded GreenHere, a local environmental charity
dedicated to working with communities to care for and plant trees in urban areas. Her volunteer work with the OUFC extends her passion for local engagement, stewardship and environmental planning to assist Ontario communities with urban forestry activities.
Barbara Yaroski brings a horticultural perspective to the OUFC from her background as a Garden Centre Sales & Production Manager and as Project Estimator of Wetland and Upland Restoration Projects. Barb has been a blogger for 6 years and brings her passion for plants and trees to the OUFC acting as webmaster.
Shawn Mayhew-Hammond is currently a Masters student in the Environmental Applied Science and Management Program at Ryerson University. As part of Dr. Andrew Millward’s Urban Forest Research and Ecological Disturbance (UFRED) research team, Shawn is exploring the use of bio-remediating plants as a less invasive soil remediation option. Past experiences include: a BA in Environmental Geography, a minor in Biology, and certificates in Environmental management and Geomatics all from Nipissing University; experience as an Urban Forestry Planning Intern at GreenHere, and as a Research Assistant at the Forest Resources Laboratory at Nipissing University. Shawn recognizes the importance of Ontario’s Urban Forests and is concerned with the many threats that, if not addressed, will impair their future health. He wishes to join the OUFC to help educate communities, to lobby government, and to facilitate communication amongst related NGO’s in order to improve Ontario’s Urban Forest. Shawn will personally be responsible for heading the communication and social networking committee which will establish communication between urban forestry groups and communities throughout Ontario.
Many thanks to our advisors: Bohdan Kowalyk, Peter Dmytrasz, Fran Moscall, Marie Bianchi, Adrina C. Bardekjian, Barb Boysen, Guy Brassard, Marshall Buchanan, Andy Kenney, Teresa Matamoros, David Pearl, Michael Rosen, Richard Ubbens, Philip van Wassenaer, Marc Willoughby, Shelley Vescio & Barb Heidenreich