Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Last week was my first blog post! In all the excitement that comes with writing a blog, I forgot to let you know who writes this blog. So, now that you know a little bit about the Muskoka Stewardship Program, why the blog is here, and what information you can find here, week 2 is about introducing myself .

{here I am in Peru, on my way to Machu Picchu}

My name is Rebecca Francis and I am the Stewardship Coordinator at the Muskoka Heritage Foundation (MHF). I began this position in January of 2010 through a one-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. I am really excited about the potential this program has to foster a conservation ethic among private landowners in Muskoka.

One thing you should know about me: I love Muskoka. Growing up I spent my summers at my family's cottage on Lake Rosseau with my parents and three siblings. As I got older and went away to University I always made an effort to get back to the cottage for summer. In fact, I still spend my summers there! The time I spent at the cottage growing up helped to foster a connection to this place in the world and shaped my interest in environmental issues.

At Dalhousie University in Halifax I studied International Development Studies and Environmental Studies for my undergraduate degree (BA). Later, I attended York University in Toronto for my Masters in Environmental Studies (MES). During both degrees my thesis projects focused on environmental education issues. It's easy to see what made this job at MHF so appealing: it combines my personal and academic interests in the place I love!

Another thing you should know about me: I love to travel. Before university I spent some time living in Switzerland and traveling Europe. After my undergraduate degree I took a 4 month backpacking trip to South East Asia with my friend Brookes. Most recently, my partner Chris and I spent 5 months in South America. Since being in Muskoka year round I have been exploring around this area too: cross country skiing in the winter, hiking and paddling in the summer. There are so many beautiful places right here in Muskoka!

The Muskoka Stewardship Program is about conserving the land that you own; the places that mean so much to you in Muskoka. I look forward to helping with your projects by providing resources and introducing you to people who are experts in their field, profiling outstanding stewardship projects, and much more!

Excuse this lengthy post, but now that we're acquainted we can get started. Stay tuned!


P.S. Leave a comment here and tell me a little about yourself!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Welcome to the Muskoka Stewardship Connection!

The Muskoka Stewardship Program is about improving the ecological integrity of Muskoka's private lands. Read more about the program in the 'About Us' section.

This blog is here for landowners interested in conservation of their property through private stewardship. You will find:
  • weekly blogposts about interessting stewardship stories and initiatives
  • stewardship resources to help you with the projects on your property
  • comments from other landowners and the possibility to network with them (you can leave comments too!)
  • information about the program and the Master Stewards who visit properties
  • contact information and tips on how to get involved
  • links to related websites and other interesting blogs

Send me an email or leave a comment if there are other things you would like to see here. This blog is provided to support you in your stewardship activities!

photo: John McQuarrie