John grew up in Toronto and spent his summers in Muskoka. As a teenager he began canoe tripping in Algonquin Park and eventually became a guide as well as working for several local cedar canvas canoe builders. In 1998 after moving to Kingston he became an avid sail racer continuing his love to be on, in or around water. Having always volunteered, in 2012 after buying a cottage near Jones Falls he contacted RWLT and became part of the team. In 2014 he joined the Board and in 2022 became Board chair. When not working fulltime or volunteering for RWLT he can be found at his cottage doing work there or sailing his laser.
Sara joined RWLT in 2022, after moving from Grand Rapids, Michigan and building a new home and small farm in the Rideau Lakes area. An outdoor enthusiast, she brings a love for the outdoors and a deep respect both for the land and its wildlife. With a MSc in Health Promotion and Wellness, Sara knows how important the preservation of land is to not only the health of our environment but the overall health of a community. Her career experience includes education, community wellness and organizational management. She is happiest when she is outside; exploring a new trail, out on the water, or spending time at her barn with her farm animals.
Scott joined the RWLT Board of Directors in 2022 and has taken on the role of Treasurer in 2023. He studied at the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University in Halifax, and holds a BSc. degree in Earth Sciences. Scott’s energy industry career provided the opportunity to live and work across six continents, studying and experiencing the planet’s rich past and present along the way. In addition to Scott’s scientific background, he has been a business leader with experience in providing technical, commercial, and strategic planning insights. He has been a long-term supporter of conservation trusts and grass-roots advocacy for the integrity of provincial and national parks. When he’s not working on renovating his new home in the Rideau Lakes, he can be found on a hiking trail, in a canoe, at a curling club, or working over the stove on the newest recipe.
The lands and waters of the Frontenac Arch are very much home for Jim. He grew up in Kingston, spent the duration of his consulting engineering career in Toronto, but returned to Kingston to retire. Jim has a special attachment to the Rock Dunder property, having first hiked there as a 10-year old, shortly after it was acquired by the Boy Scouts. Later, he camped at Rock Dunder in all seasons as a Scout. Jim’s passion for outdoor recreation continues to this day. He is an avid whitewater kayaker, sea kayaker, canoeist and cross-country skier.
As a kid from downtown Toronto who also spent summers in Muskoka, moving to Ottawa provided closer proximity to lots of waterbodies, access to nature and opportunities for boating. Muskoka had the fascinating Trent-Severn canal system but overdevelopment on portions of it was clearly something to avoid if possible. A land use planning degree from the University of Waterloo lead to numerous assignments involving the Rideau Canal corridor. When a few enthusiastic folks started discussing the benefits of establishing a Land Trust in order to retain some of the remaining natural areas, it was logical to complement municipal planning efforts with an entity that could own and maintain key properties in perpetuity. RWLT was established in 1996 and Peter joined the Board soon after. After serving for more than a decade he took a break and then returned to the Board in 2015. He continues to assist with various property acquisition and land management projects
Erica first joined the RWLT team in 2019 as a staff member. She eventually returned to work for Ontario Parks as the Senior Park Clerk at Frontenac Provincial Park but was passionate about the work of the land trust so decided to stay involved by joining the board of directors. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a focus on ecology from the University of Guelph.
Amber Blewitt is a new board member as of 2023 that has worked across southern Ontario in the conservation field with turtles, trees, plants, birds and more. She has a background in ecology and forestry and is a Registered Professional Forester. She currently lives in Perth and is passionate about community building and protecting the natural areas and wildlife habitat along the Rideau River.
Caroline is RWLT's Conservation Biologist. She holds a B.Sc.H. with a Specialization in Biology from Queen's University, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College. Caroline has also been a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner in Training with the Society for Ecological Restoration since 2020. Since late 2022, Caroline has also taken on the role of Bookkeeper for the trust, expanding her skillset with the Intuit Academy Bookkeeping Professional Certificate on Coursera. In her free time, Caroline enjoys reading, playing with her four cats, camping with her husband, growing vegetables at her new house, and playing the French horn.
Communications Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator
Sydney grew up in Morton, Ontario, attending school at Sweet’s Corners Elementary School and Rideau District High School. Upon graduating from Trent University with a B.A in Philosophy, and moving across the country to live in Edmonton, Sydney earned her Master of Divinity at the University of Toronto. The pandemic brought Sydney back to the Rideau Lakes community in 2020. After completing a global fellowship program with CreatureKind, she joined RWLT in September of 2022. Sydney has professional experience in volunteer coordination, community engagement, organizational growth, and environmental education for children and youth. Sydney is excited to be partnering with RWLT to further their mission to preserve land for the benefit of the community and for future generations.