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Ruth Tracy, Limestone Chapter

Ruth Tracy’s appreciation of trees began as she grew up on a farm in northern Ontario. As an adult, she purchased a property in 1976, which had old farm fields and an existing hardwood stand. Under the Woodlands Improvement Act, she had over 12,000 conifers planted—now her entire property is wooded except for the site of the house that she designed for her retirement.

While working as a college teacher, a co-worker invited Ruth to join the OWA. She has been a member for over 20 years and serves on her Chapter board.

Education has always been a priority for Ruth; membership in the OWA means she will continue to learn even into her retirement. She has given a niece an OWA membership as a gift to ensure the next generation will continue on with her tradition.

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  • Jim and Jan Barton
    Jim and Jan Barton

    Jim and Jan bought Maple Tree Farm in 2010; 105 acres with 85 acres forested. Since their purchase, they have discovered a true passion for trees and have been working hard to repair and upgrade buildings, trails and other features on their land.

    Part of their focus has been on reviving a maple syrup operation that had been dormant for over a decade before they moved to the farm. They have since invested in a sugar shack and a 500-tap maple syrup operation.

    With the help of forest professionals, they have been carrying out improvement harvests to remove the poorer trees (cutting firewood and sawlogs) — leaving the healthier trees with more room to grow. Over time, they hope to expand their maple syrup operation as they have also discovered the nutritional benefits of this golden food source and wonder of nature.

    Joining the Ontario Woodlot Association seemed like the right thing to do to learn about the forest and their new “hobby,” so they became members and have hosted a local field day. They have become strong supporters of the OWA and appreciate the good forest management information that membership provides.

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