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Staff & Directors




Sara Warren-Roberts

Executive Director



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. 






Caroline Spang

Conservation Biologist



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.




Deb Lace-Kelly

Communications & Community Engagement


Deb has a career in media & communications and has worked with Global Television News, and Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University). As a Communications Specialist Deb works with environmental and cultural organizations, Indigenous groups, sustainable travel companies and magazines. Deb earned the (GSTC) Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism, and holds a Masters of Art in Media Studies from York University. 




Rachel Zylstra

Conservation & Communications Assistant 



Rachel joined RWLT in 2024 as our Conservation & Communications Assistant. She graduated from Fleming College with a Fish & Wildlife Technician Diploma and has additional education in Aquaculture and Indigenous Perspectives. She completed a medical internship at a wildlife rescue and remains involved with local wildlife conservation groups. Rachel is an artist and she enjoys spending time in nature with her husband and daughter.



Kayla Horne

Assistant Conservation Biologist


Kayla is entering her 3rd year of Conservation Biology at Trent University and will be completing her summer co-op with RWLT. As a local to the Rideau Lakes region, Kayla is excited to be contributing to conservation efforts in her home community. At school, Kayla is an executive member of the Trent University Chapter of the Wildlife Society where she helps to organize events that promote a passion for wildlife among the community. Kayla has worked in the discovery department at Murphy's Point Provincial Park and as an office assistant at Killarney Provincial Park. These roles allowed her to blend work with her love for the outdoors, a synergy she aspires to continue in her future career. Beyond work, she enjoys backcountry camping, particularly by canoe, and reading during her free time. 




John Grass

Board Chair



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. 




Scott Parker

Treasurer



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.






Jim MacLachlan

Secretary



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.





Peter Hannah 

Former Chair 


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. 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 Kendrick 

Board Member



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 

Board Member 



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.





Nick Betts

Board Member 


Nick moved to Kingston in 2001 and has enjoyed the many opportunities for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, camping and cycling that the Frontenac Arch has to offer. He joins the RWLT as a new member in 2023, after retiring from a career in the public service. As a strong believer in the importance of preserving our natural environment, Nick values the opportunity to support the RWLT’s conservation efforts.





Kari Wolanski

Board Member


Kari was born in Ottawa to a family with a beautiful cedar strip canoe. Recently refurbished after fifty years of adventures, that same canoe can regularly be seen crossing back and forth to a Rideau Lakes peninsula she acquired as a pandemic quality of life investment in 2020. Life-wise, she is an outdoor enthusiast happiest in the wilderness. Work-wise, she has twenty years of social policy-related experience in government, non-governmental organisations and private sector consulting; primarily related social policy and impact measurement. She is currently Director of the Centre for Social Data Insights and Innovation at Statistics Canada, and was previously the policy director at the Department of Finance responsible for development of Canada’s Quality of Life Framework. She has also worked at the Privy Council Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, and for the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development. 

Rideau Waterway Land Trust, P.O. Box 42, Elgin, Ontario, K0G 1E0 Canada. Phone: +1 (343) 653 2500

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