A group of nature enthusiasts got together in September 2013 and formed North Durham Nature. The area served includes Brock, Scugog and Uxbridge Townships including the Oak Ridges Moraine, but members are welcome from anywhere. Bringing together a wealth of experience, the group holds over four outdoor events and four evening events per year. They bring together a number of locals with a wealth of natural history who want to share their excitement and knowledge with residents of the area and beyond. Members enjoy participating in all our events, receiving four issues of our club newsletter per year, and regular updates of club activities by email.
President - James Kamstra is our new president hand has been responsible for organizing our talks. He is also the LON Regional Director for Ontario Nature, and our new Ontario Nature representative. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as a biologist, expert naturalist and guide.
Secretary - Lynda Kamstra's interest in nature began with birds but has now expanded. With a background in biology and environmental sciences, she worked as an outdoor/environmental educator for ten years before her life as a classroom teacher. She is learning to garden with native plants.
Treasurer and Memberships - Kim Adams is a local naturalist, assistant compiler for the Christmas Bird Count, and past volunteer with the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, and the Marsh Monitoring program. His financial experience includes past manager of a Coles/Indigo Books store, and financial work for Bell Canada. In 2022 he stepped in to coordinate club membership as well.
Director and Past President - Cara Gregory is a working Outdoor Environmental Educator at Nonquon and Duffin's Creek Environmental Education Centres, and past Naturalist with Ontario Parks. She is also President of Ontario Nature, having been our Ontario Nature Representative. She recently stepped down as NDN President after 3 years to focus on her Ontario Nature role, but will continue continue her involvement on the NDN board as a director. She also helps maintain the website.
Director and Past President - Derek Connelly is a local naturalist , compiler of the Uxbridge Christmas Bird Count and past coordinator of Uxbridge Birders. He is responsible for organizing our walks and community projects in Uxbridge.
Director - Jay Thibert is an outdoor enthusiast, and past Facilitator of the Nonquon Environmental Education Centre. He brings a career of experience as an outdoor educator. Jay is chair of the Friends of Nonquon, whom NDN often partners with on Family events.
Director - Mark Humphrey. Mark’s love of nature started from a young age, spending time at his grandparents’ cottages. His many years as a young Scout, led him to being a Leader in Uxbridge’s local Scouting organization. He is a lifelong learner, having recently completed nature studies at Lakehead University, and is a member of a number of local nature affiliated organizations.
Director - Mark Dorriesfield is a naturalist who grew up learning to bird in the Uxbridge area. After a number of years out of province participating in biological studies he has returned to Southern Ontario with a local ecologist position. Mark currently maintains our website.
Newsletter writer/editor and Past Director - Geoff Carpentier, an expert birder, jounalist/author and international expedition guide, has recently stepped down as Director, but continues to be the writer/editor of our club newsletter. We thank Geoff for all that he has contributed to the club over his years on the Board, and for his continued work.
Alan Wells was the club's first president and outgoing treasurer, he was responsible for setting many of the structures in place which will guide us along and I am sure he will continue to keep an eye on us!
Mark Stabb is a local biologist involved in nature education activities and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and has previously served the club as Director and Secretary. Mark will continue to be involved with NDN projects, and we thank him for all the work he has done and continues to do.
John McLean stepped down after serving two years as a Director, his humour and insight from personal and other club experiences has been very helpful. He continues to coordinate the Beaverton Christmas Bird count and lead birding outings.
Brenda Near is a long time Durham Resident (Zephyr area) with an interest in all things natural. She is an avid gardener, particularly interested in planting native plants to create back yard habitat for native bees, butterflies, and birds. She acted as club secretary and also looked after event advertising. Brenda stepped down from the board after December 2020 to pursue other ventures, and we thank her for her time and expertise.
Nancy Melcher, Uxbridge's own outdoor ed teacher and writer of the Cosmos newspaper's column "The Nature Nut" helped us out with publicity in the early stages and assisted with editing our newsletter.
Pat Asling served as Director for a short time but has stepped down to continue other volunteer activities. We thank her for her continued support.
Carol Apperson is an avid birder, naturalist, ecotourist and long time resident of North Durham. She was one of the original directors of the club from 2013 to 2021, but has chosen to step down for 2022. We thank her for her time and assistance over the past 9 years.
Pat Baldwin graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry but ended up working in the health field. She never lost her interest in trees. In 2015 she returned to university to study the relationship between forests and human health. She is also a winner of the North American Native Plant Garden award in 2010, and spearheaded NDN's successful Native Plant Seed Sale fundraiser during her time on the board.
There are several other volunteers who help us out and are vital to the smooth running of a club. Refreshments at evening talks are organized by Nancy Hannah and Anne Wells in Uxbridge, while Carol Apperson and Lynne Thorkelsson help us in Port Perry. Kim Lendvay has created and manages our Facebook page. Our website was first created and managed by Jacqueline Visconti from Back 2 Front Website Design. We thank her for her guidance and past hard work. A healthy club always welcomes active members. If you would like to help out in any way let us know.
First Outdoor Event
The first outdoor event for this group was a visit to the Cranberry Marsh Hawkwatch station, on Halls Road in Whitby in September 2013. Since then we have added more walks and events each year exploring the nature in North Durham and beyond.
We have the energy for NATURE, do you?
To learn more about becoming a member click here, or contact James at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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