The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is registered charity that works with citizens and neighbours to protect and steward ecologically important land on and near the Oak Ridges Moraine, for everyone’s collective benefit.
Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust
5595 17th Sideroad
Schomberg, Ontario L0G 1T0
Office Hours: 9AM – 5 PM, Mon – Fri *limited, please email us for faster responses.
We acknowledge that Indigenous Peoples have had and continue to have presence and deep connection with the lands on and near the Oak Ridges Moraine, a part of what is known to the Indigenous Peoples of North America as Turtle Island.
These lands are the territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Chippewas of Georgina Island, Rama, and Beausoleil, and of the Mississaugas of Alderville, Curve Lake, Hiawatha, and Scugog Island – the First Nations of the Williams Treaties. We would like to thank them, and other Indigenous Peoples, for sharing this land with us.
Indigenous Peoples have been subjected to colonial oppression and injustice which continues to this day.
The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust acknowledges that the first step to reconciliation is recognizing Indigenous Peoples and their inherent rights to the land, which will ensure that we are creating a better future by strengthening our relationship with them and the land.
Our Land Trust endeavours to honour the land and its treaties by ensuring healthy ecosystems that thrive forever.
We recognize that working together with Indigenous Peoples to include ecological traditional knowledge systems moves us towards an equitable and sustainable future.
Things you can do:
Read the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Speak up about racism and injustice, support Indigenous businesses
This is Your Land Trust
The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is your Land Trust. If you have land you cherish on, or near, the Oak Ridges Moraine, we are here to help you protect your land forever.
Consider what just one acre of green space, covered with forest, wetland or open meadow does for you: cleans the air, cleans and regulates water, shelters wildlife, supports pollination, provides space for recreation, protects us from run-off and erosion, ensures dispersal of seeds, and more.
By protecting these vital and important lands, everyone will benefit from these natural features and all that they provide. That’s you, me and all of us. What will you do to help to protect our Moraine?
The lands that we protect on and near the Oak Ridges Moraine will grow in importance as more and more natural areas are lost. With your support, we can continue to protect land forever, ensuring that water will continue to be cleaned, trees and shrubs will continue to clean our air and shelter more birds and wildlife, and we will all benefit from the protected nature and greenspace.
With your support, we have been able to permanently protect 5,269 acres of ecologically important land on or near the Oak Ridges Moraine, but there is much more to protect, and we need your help.
Our team would love to hear from you if you have questions or ideas, if you would like to join our mailing list or if you are inspired to get involved.
Chief Executive Officer/Privacy Officer
Land Securement Coordinator
*Please note that our office time is now limited for safety and email is the best way to reach us.
The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is a registered charity that protects ecologically important land on and near the Oak Ridges Moraine through donations, conservation easements and purchases. We do not have anything to do with zoning or permissions related to the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan legislation or local zoning. Please contact your local municipality’s planning department for more information.
Together with our donors, we raise crucial funds to protect properties across our Oak Ridges Moraine. We promise to be open and transparent about how we raise our funds and where your money goes.
Thank you! Donors like you combining forces with foundations, corporations and government have made a difference! Here is where our money comes from:
Every gift protects land, saves habitat for species, and engages citizens in learning about the Moraine and Greenbelt. Here is where your money goes:
Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust
We envision that natural environments important to sustaining life are protected forever.
The Land Trust works to ensure a healthy ecosystem and natural environment that thrives forever, on and near the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Ethical Value Statements
The following values statements guide and inspire every decision and action at the Land Trust. We will:
- Maintain and enhance the trust of our community
- Collaborate with communities and partners for the common good
- Effectively steward our lands in perpetuity
- Be accountable for our results, decisions and resources
- Engage, influence, persuade and advocate
- Treat volunteers, staff members, donors and all others involved with the Land Trust with respect
- Celebrate successes in environmental protection
For more details about our long-term vision and plan, please view our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan PDF here.
You can view our ByLaws here
Board Member Listing
The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is governed by a Board of Directors. These helpful and caring volunteers lend their time, talent and expertise to provide leadership, raise awareness and support our efforts.
If you are interested in applying to become a member of the Board of Directors, click here for the job posting and application information.
Mike Charles, Board Chair
Mike Charles recently retired after 30 years as an intellectual property litigator, primarily in patent cases, as a partner with a major Toronto based firm. He also has a Chemical Engineering degree, and is obtaining his Masters in Business Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, focusing on corporate governance. He also assists self-represented litigants with Pro-Bono Law Ontario, and has been active with Habitat for Humanity with a large recently completed project. He is committed to sustaining the outdoors, enjoys hiking, water colour landscape painting, travelling, and numerous other pursuits, and is a long time Appalachian Mountain Club member.
Sarah Chiasserini, Treasurer
Sarah Chiasserini, CPA, CA, BSc (Hons) is a Chartered Accountant and works as a Senior Manager in the audit and assurance department at BDO Canada LLP. She has over 15 years experience in public accounting both in Canada and in the UK. She serves private and public company clients in a variety of industries including mining, manufacturing and real estate.
Sarah was born and raised in the UK and came to Canada in 2005. She lives in North Pickering where she owns and operates a small private horse boarding facility. As well as being a certified English riding coach, she enjoys trail riding on her own horses, competing at show jumping competitions and hiking.
She is an active member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Ontario Equestrian Federation (OEF), Equine Canada, Women in Mining (WIM), Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) and on the Board of a small NPO for a cooperative school in Brooklin. She has previous experience serving as a board member on equestrian clubs and associations in the UK.
Bryan Whitehead is a geological engineer and hydrogeologist with over 55 years of experience working for the Ontario Water Resources Commission, the Ministry of the Environment, as well as his own consulting company for 48 years. Bryan has undertaken numerous consulting studies in the moraine area, including the development of many municipal wells. In the process of studying portions of the moraine, he has been involved in a number of natural heritage evaluations with various team members.
Bryan was a member and vice chairman of the Ontario Building Code Commission for some eight years, a member of the initial Environmental Advisory Committee for King and an executive of the Aurora Rotary Club for a number of years.
Over the past 40 years, Bryan has lived in three locations on the top of the moraine in Aurora and King, including a 92-acre farm with an equestrian centre.
Brent Elson is Partner with KPMG’s Financial Institutions Audit practice. He has been with KPMG since 2000 and spent time in both Dublin, Ireland and London, UK. He leads the audit engagements of number of large banking and other financial services clients in the GTA. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, and has a Masters of Accounting from the University of Waterloo.
Brent loves cycling, hiking, golfing and cottage life.He lives at the edge of the Oak Ridges Moraine in Aurora, Ontario with his family, but is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Brent’s objective is to help protect the natural environment of the Oak Ridges Moraine and encourage strategies and activities to manage its water resources in a sustainable way.
In addition to his work as an architect, David J Agro is a dedicated conservationist helping to protect habitats for critically endangered species in Latin America, and in Canada. He is founding member and currently President of the Jocotoco Foundation based in Ecuador. In 20 years, Jocotoco has established 12 conservation reserves protecting over 17,500 hectares. In Canada he has participated and directed several grassland/Black Oak Savanna restoration projects in Norfolk County and participated in planning for the Natural Heritage System in the North Pickering Development Plans (Seaton).
David has been a member of the Land and Stewardship Committee of ORMLT for the past two years, has a passion for the environment, raising funds to support environmental initiatives and is well connected within the environmental and conservation world.
Christopher Norris, Past Chair
Chris Norris is an accomplished professional with a diverse 20+ year career in the energy, aeronautical engineering, and financial services fields. Following several years of detailed design and analysis for one of Canada’s leading aerospace firms, he began management consulting and has worked in both the financial services and energy industry. He now leads the development of the renewable hydrogen business in Canada for a large multinational engineering firm.
He holds a B. Sc. (Engineering) from Queen’s University, an M. Eng. from McMaster, and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University, and an LL.M in Energy & Infrastructure Law from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto (2021). He has been a licensed professional engineer in the province of Ontario since 2000. He lives in Aurora with his wife and three kids.
Isobel Ralston holds B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Western University and the University of Alberta, respectively. Isobel has approximately 30 years’ experience in global drug development, having held senior management positions in international pharmaceutical companies, directing clinical research and regulatory affairs. She has lived in Europe and in several Canadian provinces.
Isobel has lived on the Oak Ridges Moraine for approximately 30 years. She is committed to environmental issues and is a co-founder of MapleCross, a fund focused on protecting and restoring Canada’s natural environment by supporting organizations engaged in land conservation.
Isobel has backpacked, hiked and canoed in various regions of Canada (Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Yukon) and frequently cycles in Europe. Isobel sits on several Boards and continues art studies; her paintings have been exhibited in several group shows. Isobel is a member of the Fundraising and Outreach Committee and has been on the Board since 2017.
Rodney Yip has served on Boards of Directors and Executive teams for over 30 years. His roles include President, Treasurer, Secretary and general Board member. He has worked as a fundraiser, advisor, marketer and mentor.
Rodney worked at IBM Canada for 33 years and “retired” in 2015. After down-shifting for a month, he discovered a gear he never knew he had. Old passions reemerged. Projects such as pollinator habitat rehabilitation / creation, re-forestation, waste diversion and climate change came to the fore. No stranger to environmental issues, Rodney was involved in cleaning up the Don River, particulate analysis of the Gardiner Expressway environs, fish habitat monitoring and Save the Whales (yes, he was one of “those” people).
Enhancing the Oak Ridges Moraine is a lifelong dream. The moraine is an important watershed, pollinator habitat and carbon sink. Rodney’s interest in wetlands, bees, trees and climate change all merge on the moraine.
Jane Garthson, Secretary
Jane Garthson has been providing leadership services to Canadian not-for-profits and governments since 1992, after holding senior management roles in the Ontario government. Her focus areas are Interim Executive roles, governance, strategic planning, ethics and decision-making. Last decade, Jane provided consulting services to the Rideau Waterway Land Trust, then delivered strategic planning workshops for the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and attended in the first Standards and Practices training in Canada. She has served and supported other environmental organizations and deeply appreciates the importance of the Moraine in preserving our ecosystem and mitigating the effects of climate change.
Jane has served as Commissioner of the Ontario Racing Commission (a provincial regulatory agency), chair of the Ethics Practitioners Association of Canada, Treasurer of the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association and Executive Director of the Ontario Equestrian Federation. She grew up with strong rural ties and now rides her Quarter Horse regularly on Durham Forest trails. She lives in North York with two cats and a pesticide-free edibles garden. Both Jane and her husband are amateur singer-songwriters and fantasy readers.
Patricia Short-Galle, Past Chair
A long time resident of the City of Pickering. Since 2001 and until her retirement as Regional Manager, Green Space & Outreach with Transport Canada in August 2007, Patricia led the federal Green Space initiative to protect approximately 7,500 acres, including the Oak Ridges Moraine portion of the federal holdings in Pickering as Green space for future generations. Patricia was a member of the Duffins Watershed Task Force, the Rouge Watershed Task Force, the Duffins/Carruthers Watershed Resource Group and the Rouge Park Improvement & Heritage Committee.
Patricia was appointed by the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority and is a member at large on the Walker Woods & Glenn Major Stewardship Committee focused primarily on the northern portion of Durham Region; and is a member of the Oak Ridges Corridor Park East – Management Plan Public Advisory Committee.
In addition to serving as the Chair of the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and a member of the Fundraising Committee, Patricia serves on the Board of Governors for the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and was a member on the Board of Trustees for the United Way Ajax, Pickering, Uxbridge and Chair of the Community Investment Cabinet.
Nicholas Trevisan is an Urban Forestry Planner with the City of Toronto, where he implements City tree by-laws and forestry programs. Nicholas worked previously as a consultant specializing in natural environment impact assessment, policy review, species at risk, ecological restoration and arboriculture. He received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Ecology from the University of Guelph and a Masters degree in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of Saskatchewan. Nicholas grew up on the moraine and was inspired by both the land and residents who worked to conserve it. He hopes to help continue this legacy of conservation through his work with the talented staff and volunteers of the Trust. In his spare time, Nicholas enjoys exploring the Moraine, camping, running, hockey and spending time with family and friends.
Kerry-Ann is a Member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and the Environmental Partnership Co-ordinator for Cambium Indigenous Professional Services (CIPS). She is proud to have been able to serve her Community for over 17 years working in various capacities such as by-law development and implementation, waste management, housing, environmental project co-ordination and management as well as serving a term on Council.
Over the past decade Kerry-Ann has dedicated herself to learning about and up-holding her responsibility as an Indigenous person to protect and preserve mother earth and at the same time dedicated herself to sharing this knowledge to ensure sustainability and balance for future generations. As a result of this work, she has gained International recognition and has been asked to speak across Canada, the US and Mexico on the importance of including the indigenous perspectives when pursuing efforts relating to the environment and climate change. Kerry Ann’s wide range of career experiences gives her a unique perspective that can be very valuable when assisting other communities and organizations wishing to find their balance of operations and environmental stewardship.