Summer 2020, President’s Message

Well suffice to say my term as President has started off with a backpack of full challenges! Covid-19 has disrupted the human world immensely but, thank goodness, nature doesn’t care. We still had a great spring full of migrating birds, spectacular flowers, blooming shrubs and trees and lots of fresh air to entice us outside to enjoy and reflect on how much we can manage on our own without large groups. One thing great that has come out of Covid-19 is “Ask a Biologist”! Don’t you all agree?

Before I forget, I want to say some important “thank yous”. Kate McLaren has mentored me in many ways. After six years, her chair at Board meetings will be empty. Her advice will be missed. We will also miss the knowledge and enthusiasm of Gord Edwards and Julie Lamberts. Gordon Toth will continue on the Board as Past-president having been President for the past two years. Thank you Gordon, I’m glad you are the ace in my back pocket! I welcome Brendan Mulroy, Vice-president and Jody Pettit and Ange Flynn who are the team overseeing and mentoring the Young Naturalists program. We continue to have a vacancy on the board; we need a Secretary. John Dickson, our programming guru, could also use an assistant. Consider how you can help the OSFN.

Our Board has many new strengths and several new members but thank heavens enough experienced ones to keep us from getting too outside the box. We are excited to rise to the challenges and use our critical thinking skills to solve any new or ongoing issues.

Stay tuned as we somehow will continue our meetings as a membership together whether over the computer or as smaller indoor groups. We have several tasks to keep us occupied standing up for conserving the precious land around us such as Stoney Orchard Park in Owen Sound, the TCE project, and several MNRF downloads.

Please look into our stewardship program. What a fantastic way to practice what we preach! Exciting new properties seem to keep coming our way. These include the Oliphant Fen extension and Trout Hollow. With the board, I have a few projects to tackle such as the Master Naturalist program availability, updating the public display boards to show our works in progress and keeping up with the Young Naturalists program.

A goal for the Board and me is to try to get to know all our new members so we have an idea where our strengths are to benefit our entire group. Please feel free to introduce yourselves to me as I try to get to know my fellow “outside people” and “Nature Nuts” I have always said during my career that the more you know and understand the more you realize how much you don’t know. This certainly pertains to “Knowing Nature Better”. I do know lots about many things but am definitely not an expert in any. I’m excited about growing more with all of you. By drawing on the incredible knowledge of many of the membership, I hope to use that foundation to build on and continue the excellent work our group does. Our Website and Facebook page are awesome, our finances are sound, our programming excellent but with new discussions, opinions and assistance from each other we can evolve further and stronger and learn more together.

Looking forward to the next 2 years!
Pam Kinchen, President