Meet the Master Stewards

The Muskoka Stewardship Program is very lucky to have 11 dedicated Master Stewards who have volunteered to conduct property visits with landowners. The Master Stewards are the heart of this program. They visit properties and help conservation-minded landowners with the stewardship activities of interest to them.

This section of the blog serves to introduce you to the Master Stewards. They come to the program with diverse backgrounds and a wealth of knowledge.

Laura Alward
Laura lives near the northern boundary of Muskoka. She loves the rich natural history of the area and the community of people who value nature. Laura looks forward to helping people develop a stronger connection to the land on which they live. Laura's love for Muskoka is lived through her personal interests which include experimenting with some new wild food recipes and harvesting medicinal herbs in the summer. She brings a wealth of knowledge as a terrestrial ecologist to the group.

Kelly Davidson
A Huntsville resident, Kelly loves Muskoka because it's where her roots are and because of the experiences she has gained through her work in provincial parks. She got involved in the program to meet new people with an environmental interest. Kelly brings a solid background as an environmental technician and also has a B.A. in environmental studies.

Matt Dodds
A Hunstville native, Matt has strong family roots in Muskoka. Of course, he also loves the natural heritage of the area and meeting landowners who are passionate about the same. Matt is also acting as the Well Guide for the Well Aware program that runs in conjunction with the Muskoka Stewardship Program.

Chris Gilmour
Chris lives in North Muskoka where he dedicates much of his time to running his Earth Mentorship Program and as a Forest Technician. His background includes a passion for exploring forests and guiding wilderness trips in Western Canada. Chris is especially good at taking notice of the busy ife that exsits in these wildernaess settings. From these observations, he learns how to live a more fulfilling and environmentally conscious life, closer to the earth.

Jim Griffin
Making a contribution to conserving the natural features of Muskoka is what motivated Jim to become a part of the Master Stewards team. Jim is an active member of the Muskoka Field Naturalists, the Huntsville Nature Club and the Friends of Algonquin Park. Jim brings to the group keen interest in birding and a background in forestry.

Allan Guthrie
A resident of Bracebridge, Allan and his wife retired to Muskoka. He is looking forward to gaining and sharing knowledge with those he meets through this program. Allan brings enthusiasm to the group and a keen sense to make a difference in conserving the diversity of Muskoka's natural features.

Debbie Hastings
Debbie spent 40 years cottaging in the Muskoka before retiring to the area. The natural beauty and the people are what she loves about Muskoka. She looks forard to the group commraderie of the Master Stewards and also to meeting people who care deeply about preserving Muskoka and learning more about how to help landowners on their properties.

Chad Irwin
The ancient rock and the black flies are 2 things that Chad loves about Muskoka. We will send all the black flies to you in Huntsville Chad! chad plays the didferidoo, is a tree care giver and has a 3-year-old son. He loves floating down waterways while eating mint chocolate chip ice cream! He has a background in forestry and looks forward to connecting with natura and people at the same time during visits with landowners.

Paula Lynn Jackson
An educator by training, Paula recently moved to Hunstville where she is lovong the beauty of the land, water, and air and the close proximity to Algonquin Park. Paula looks forward to sharing beneficial information with landowners and leaning from those people with whom she visits. 

Chris Near
Chris grew up in Huntsville, but for this summer, calls Windermere home. He loves the trees and granite that make up Muskoka's landscape. He comes to the program with a knowledge in environmental studies and experience working in provincial parks. He just bought a new solo canoe so he'll be out practicing on Lake Rosseau this summer.

Ariel Zwicker
Ariel feels a kinship with Muskoka because of her family roots here and also because of the bounty of trees, birds, and wild spaces. She is looking forward to the program because of the opportunity to learn and connect with a group of people with simialr values. Ariel also volunteers with the Natural Heritage Committee at the foundation. Her background includes being a fish and wildlife technician and is also knowledgable in integrated resource management. This summer, Ariel will be hiking, swimming, and working in her garden.