When my husband and I retired we moved very close to the Copeland Forest. It quickly became our favourite place. We were both avid naturalists and I was president of the Orillia Naturalists’ Club. I am a retired science teacher having taught chemistry, biology and environmental science. I took my students on field trips to a forest as often as possible. When you live near the Copeland Forest going for a walk in it provides the sense of tranquillity that is urgently needed in today’s hectic lives. It is difficult to pick a season that I enjoy most in the forest. In the spring the wild flowers are beautiful and so are the delicate shades of green on the young leaves. The ferns are special to me too. Everyone appreciates the fall colours. The winter scenes with snow on the trees are spectacular. The activities that I enjoy most in the forest are cross-country skiing, going on nature walks and snowshoeing. The Copeland Forest Friends are cooperating to try to maintain the beauty and ecological integrity of the forest for a variety of user groups.
Derek has been a licensed hunter for over 30 years and has fished all his life. A professional land use planner, Derek and his family live in Craighurst and enjoy exploring Copeland Forest year-round. Habitat improvement and bringing together all Copeland Forest users on conservation projects and are what motivate Derek. In addition to the Copeland Forest Friends Association, he is an active member of the Barrie District Hunters & Anglers Conservation Club and the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters. In the fall Derek can be found in Copeland Forest hunting grouse and woodcock with his Yellow Labrador Retriever “Whisky”, or archery hunting for deer.
Sandy McLoughlin has had a passion for horses for most of her life. She has owned and run Copeland Hills Stables for the past ten years, which is a private boarding facility – a short ride from the Copeland Forest. You may spot her from time to time in the Copeland Forest with the black Egyptian Arabian Horse named “Cody”. Sandy currently serves as Secretary on the executive of the Copeland Forest Friends.
I have lived on the edge of the Copeland forest. Since 2011 and have been skiing in the forest since 1978.
An avid XC skier and Mountain biker, I also snowshoe and hike through the entire range of the forest. A father of 3 grown children, they too have had the pleasure of spending time in this wonderful resource.
I have been a part time resident of Oro all my life and retired to live permanently in Shanty Bay from Toronto seven years ago. I was employed by the Toronto District School Board as a Parent Worker for 26 years and was also involved with The Roots of Empathy program.Since then I have been an active member of The Oro Medonte branch of the Ganaraska trail Association and presently am the Vice President. I also am an avid biker and cross country skier and tennis player. As a hiker and skier The Copeland Forest is important to me and for future generations.
Brad has been living and riding mountain bikes in Horseshoe Valley for 12 years and is currently introducing his two young boys to the Copeland forest on bikes, skis and snowshoes. He spends many hours in the forest making sure the trails are safe for all users and enjoys showing off one of the best trail networks in southern Ontario to first time Copeland riders. His goal on the board will be to ensure a safe, fun, and challenging trail network into the future by continuing to work with all of the forest’s user groups.
David has been hiking and skiing in the Copeland Forest for over twenty years. When he retired from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, he and his wife Margaret moved up closer to the Forest. David has now taken up nature and landscape photography as his second career.David has had a lifelong commitment to conservation and has been the Chair of the Sierra Club of Ontario (earlier in his career), Chair of the first major North American Acid Rain Conference, and a board member and secretary of the Couchiching Conservancy. He is also a member of the Bruce Trail Association and the Ganaraska Trail Association. With the Couchiching Conservancy, David developed the Copeland Forest Stewardship Initiative and now serves as the President of the Copeland Forest Friends Association.
Kris recently moved to Horseshoe Valley and spends as much time as possible exploring the Copeland by foot, snowshoe or ski. Kris has spent much of his career in the non-profit sector and is a strong advocate for conservation. He currently serves as Executive Director for Ontario’s Lake Country Tourism.
Kyra has been enjoying hiking in Copeland Forest for almost 20 years and is the ‘Naturalist’ representative on the Copeland Forest Friends board of directors.
Kyra’s career has been focused in the field of conservation, working on various invasive species projects in Southern Ontario, then as the Stewardship Manager at the Couchiching Conservancy and currently as the Manager of Lands & Operations with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority.
Kyra lives with her family in a straw-bale house near Moonstone.
Neil Craig is a lifelong resident of Craighurst. He farms on land his family obtained from the crown in 1819, on the western edge of the Copeland Forest. He has been actively involved in the community as a former mayor of Oro-Medonte, past chairman of the Huronia Woodland Owners Association and warden at St. John`s Church Craighurst. Neil remembers his father raking and baling hay around Martinville in the Copeland Forest as feed for the horses at Copeland’s mill. Neil currently serves as the Business Rep on the Board as well as Treasurer on the Executive of the Board.
Andrew currently works at Horseshoe Resort as the Cycling and Cross Country Ski Pro and the Copeland Forest has been a part of his life for well over 20 years. “We are so fortunate to have such a diverse forest and wetland wilderness in our own back yard that is accessible for everyone. Through the Copeland Forest Friends and the partnerships with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Horseshoe Resort and the local community, I sincerely believe we will sustain the beauty, ecology and history of the Copeland for generations to come.”