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Neil Dunning

Neil grew up on the edge of Etobicoke in the 1950s and 1960s, and always had access to fields, forests and creeks. His involvement in the Scouting movement gave him some exposure to woodcraft, and he has enjoyed wetlands for as long as he can remember.

In 2001, Neil and his wife, Kathy, bought 17 acres, which is part of the Oakland Swamp complex of provincially significant wetland in Brant County. A lifetime educator, Neil has always enjoyed observing and learning about nature, as well as increasing his woodcraft skills from hands-on experiences.

Neil says, “Being part of the Ontario Woodlot Association has given me a whole new avenue of learning as I rub shoulders with amazing members, many of whom have decades and even centuries of family experience in the forest.”

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  • Smith Family
    Smith Family

    For the Smith family, their connection to the forest goes back over a century, and at least four generations. Located in what’s known as the Frontenac Axis, their woodlot has the mixture of white pine, white cedar and sugar maple typical of that landscape.

    Kallista Smith joined the OWA after attending a field day, and immediately got involved on the Limestone chapter board. Her mother, Tracie, followed suit at the next AGM, and Kallista’s brother Justin joined the next year, after returning back to the area from college.

    The Smith family has always been interested in identifying plants in the forest and have already hosted one field day on their family property. Tracie is in the process of registering a forest management plan under the MFTIP, something she heard about after joining the OWA. The family wants to host another event, this time in the spring, with a focus on wildflowers.

    As Justin puts it, “Belonging to the OWA introduces you to like-minded people. The return in education is well worth the membership.”

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