Board Profiles

Meet the Board Jenn Copeland Hiker Director Jenn Copeland has grown up with deep, strong roots in Copeland Forest, and is a new representative for the Hiker User Group. Even while away, attending school in Toronto and in Kingston, Jenn returned to the forest as

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Board Profiles

Meet the Board

Jenn Copeland
Jenn Copeland

Jenn Copeland has grown up with deep, strong roots in Copeland Forest, and is a new representative for the Hiker User Group. Even while away, attending school in Toronto and in Kingston, Jenn returned to the forest as often as possible to hike, ski and snowshoe, and has chosen to live and work nearby, to be close to the forest, for her entire career.

As an Arts Educator and Arts Advocate, with a focus upon connecting to Nature, this place has been an ongoing source of inspiration, and of solace. Within the past 3 years, she has also been an active member of the Garlic Mustard Pulling Crew and has just joined the water-testing team.

David Myles
David Myles

I have lived full time in the neighbourhood for 12 years now and part time for another 7 years.  I
love the Copeland for the biking and even more so for snowy bushwhacks on skis, off
the trails, in the deep snows of winter.  The beautiful forests, streams and quiet
meadows of the Copeland are great places to unwind from the urban world.

Lisa Banks
Lisa Banks

Lisa left the GTA behind and moved to Horseshoe Valley in March 2013 to work at Georgian College.  Always interested in discovering trails where her dog could safely run, a neighbour introduced her to the delights of the Copeland Forest. Some of her best memories, since moving to this beautiful part of the province, are walking/hiking in the Copeland with friends, family, and dogs. A relative newcomer to the garlic mustard pull, Lisa and her partner Barb, jumped inwith hands and feet to help quell the impact of this invasive plant to help preserve the splendid spring flowers we so enjoy, especially the precious trilliums.

Don McKinnon
Don McKinnon

Don and his wife moved from the GTHA to Horseshoe in Summer 2021. He is a
Registered Professional Planner and semi-retired environmental planning consultant.
Don spends most of his leisure time in the outdoors and is an avid cyclist (mountain,
gravel and fat), hiker, dog walker, and “bushwhack” skier. He enjoys exploring new
areas and getting “lost” in the woods. He has travelled throughout North America and
other places in the world to bike and hike on trails.

Derek Witlib
Derek Witlib

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.

Robb MacDonald
Robb MacDonald

Robb has been an active user of Copeland Forest for many years, particularly for cross-country skiing, trail running and hiking with his dogs. In November of 2019, he and his partner moved to Horseshoe Valley from Orillia, largely so they could be that much closer to Copeland.

As the new Business Director, Robb said of his position, “As a recipient of daily nurturing from Copeland’s natural elixirs, I am delighted to be a member of the Copeland Forest Friends Board, and I am looking forward to helping protect this space that affords me and so many others physical, mental and spiritual health benefits.”

Len Cater
Len Cater

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.

Brad Turner
Brad Turner

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.

Catherine Blakely
Catherine Blakely
My family and I moved to our farm in the area about 15 years ago. My husband and I have a small custom upholstery business serving the GTA and Muskoka.
We were delighted to find the Copeland forest so close by.
Two of our Three daughters are very involved breeding, training and showing horses, however I am the one you will find in the forest with my Mule Sue.
I have always volunteered, most recently as E.D. of a distress line. The opportunity to switch it up and get out of the office and into the forest was perfect for me!
Kyra Howes
Kyra Howes

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.

David Kennedy
David Kennedy

David has been hiking, skiing, snow shoeing and photographing in the Copeland Forest for over twenty years. He was active in founding the Association and serves as the hiker representative on the board and, previously, as the snow sport representative. As the current President, David believes it’s important to preserve the forest’s health for future generations and ensure this treasure continues to provide a safe and healthy environment for a wide range of recreational activities. He lives nearby and can be seen in the forest every week with his wife, Margaret, whose love of nature has inspired her to take on the garlic mustard threat.