About Us


The Ontario Urban Forest Council (OUFC) just celebrated 50 years as a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the health of the urban forests in the province.

Who We Are

Our membership is varied & includes arborists, foresters, landscape architects, nurserymen, planners, municipalities, restoration specialists, environmentalists, conservation authorities, green advocates and many other individuals from the public interested and concerned about trees. The OUFC was formerly the Ontario Shade Tree Council (OSTC). In 2001, the name was changed 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.

What We Do

  • 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 workshops.
  • 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.

Where We Are

Ontario Urban Forest Council
P.O. Box 32166
Harding Post Office
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4C 9S3

email address: info@oufc.org

Join Us!

Purchase your OUFC Membership here!

Board of Directors

Peter Wynnyczuk, Executive Director

Jose Rubio Lazo

Peter W.Peter has been involved in Urban Forestry for over 30 years at the municipal level and is the previous president of the Ontario Shade Tree Council (now the OUFC!). He has also been supportive of Arborist-related committees and activities. Peter is the retired urban forest supervisor with the Town of Richmond Hill. joseNomar Jose Rubio Lazo, known to most as “Jose the Arborist,” runs a small practice in downtown Toronto, and consults extensively to government and business in Central America. His indigenous background and hands-on experience with native approaches to agriculture have shaped the integrative way Jose cares for trees. Simplicity, common sense, and working in harmony with Mother Nature, he believes, is just as important as science and sophisticated technology.  Jose studied History at U of T and arboriculture at Humber College.  He is ISA certified as an arborist and as a tree climber specialist.  Jose also holds the ISA TRAQ qualification in risk assessment, and is an OUFC Heritage Tree Inspector.  His work has been featured in ISA and industry publications.  Jose was nominated by his clients and became a finalist three years in a row for the ISA’s True Professional of Arboriculture Award. He subsequently declined to stand for the award, believing that the finalist pool needs to be kept fresh with new faces in the field.  Jose is a candidate in Environment and Sustainability Studies through Harvard University’s Professional Certificate Program, and has been active at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum for years.

Barbara Yaroski

James Steenberg

DSC_3291_2_2Barb 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.  james_steenbergJames is an environmental scientist focusing on forest ecology and management. He is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Ryerson University and a consultant with Ecotone Consulting. For more information, see www.james-steenberg.com

 Jackie Hamilton

Madelyn Webb

Jackie Hamilton photo

Jackie is a certified arborist and graduate of the Master of Forest Conservation program at the University of Toronto. Jackie has a background in environmental science and forest management and is the Residential Planting Programs Coordinator at LEAF in Toronto.

madelynMadelyn ‘s career focus has been Great Lakes-St Lawrence environment and economic policy and management. She has acted as chair of various charities and not-for-profits in environment, consumer and community issues. She holds a Master’s in freshwater ecology and an MBA in organization behaviour. She has contributed to several books and reports and has taught at various colleges and universities.

Many thanks to our advisors:

Jack Radecki, Previous Executive Director from 2000-2013, Toni Ellis,  Brenlee Robinson, Bohdan Kowalyk, Peter Dmytrasz, Fran Moscall, Adrina 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.