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Staff and Board

Our staff and board bring their whole selves to Nature Centre. Together, we are on a journey to build an inclusive, accessible, and respectful environment for everyone.

Staff

A smiling person wearing a light blue shirt surrounded by green leaves and yellow flowers.

Aira MacCaull

Event & Operations Director

As a Prince Edward Islander in Toronto, Aira enjoys the quieter aspects of the City: beaches, ravine trails, museums, and the extensive library system.

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Amy Heinzl

Naturalist Teacher

Amy loves exploring the parks and waterfronts of Toronto on bike and foot and is excited to help others connect to the nature that can be found within the city.
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Andrew Brobyn

Naturalist Teacher

Andrew has lived around High Park for most of his life and he loves nature and teaching about it. In his spare time Andrew loves looking for fungi and writing.

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Emily Pollock

School and Camp Programs Supervisor

Emily is a former “camp kid” and a career outdoor educator. They have a particular passion for High Park’s oak savannah and the project to restore the savannah’s wild lupines!

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Emily Pryszlak

Naturalist Teacher

Emily grew up visiting High Park and is excited to share her love of this special place. She has a background in ecology and is particularly passionate about invertebrates. In her spare time, she likes thrifting, crafting, and gardening.

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Emma Kelly

Programs Supervisor

Emma is an environmental science educator who loves exploring ecological connections among living organisms and place. She enjoys sailing, cooking, and choral singing. She’s a new Canadian, having moved south from Michigan.  

Fel Castañeda

Naturalist Teacher

Fel is an experienced outdoor educator from Latin America who loves its jungles, deserts, and Andean highlands. They are looking to spread their love for nature through art, media, and storytelling.
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Felix Eckley

Naturalist Teacher

Felix is a birder who loves going around Canada looking for new species. He finds natural beauty everywhere he goes — be it seeing the leaves change in Algonquin, kayaking through Long Point or watching warblers migrate at Point Pelee.

Staff bio headshot of Fern Clarke

Fern Clarke

Naturalist Teacher

Fern has an appreciation for all things nature. Hoping to study marine biology, Fern is especially interested in waterfowl such as herons and egrets, and loves sitting by Grenadier Pond playing their guitar for the fish to enjoy.

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Houdini

Educational Animal Ambassador

Houdini the Red-eared Slider assists our staff during programs. He once magically disappeared from his tank before being found — earning him the name Houdini!

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Jessie Cowe

Programs Director

Jessie Cowe is a nature educator and community facilitator. She enjoys native plant gardens, convivial dinner parties, and stopping to look at every bee and lichen on a hiking trail.

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Leah Hladkyj

Special Events & Communications Coordinator

An enthusiastic bird watcher, Leah enjoys going on hikes, kayaking, and rock climbing. Leah also has a passion for cooking, and can be found in the kitchen if not outdoors.
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Mae Smith

Naturalist Teacher

Mae grew up with the Nature Centre, and a passion for all things nature! When she isn’t exploring the woods finding fantastic fungi, you can find her working on her latest art project, or playing her guitar.

Staff bio headshot of Nick Armstrong

Nick Armstrong

Naturalist Teacher

Nick loves learning about the properties of all the plants you can find in High Park so he can teach others about nature. In his spare time, he enjoys juggling, playing music, and spending time in nature.

Patti McCabe

Office Administrator

Patti has lived in the High Park area for over 25 years and has experienced the park in all its glory. She is also an avid photographer, writer, history and movie buff.
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Robin Sibley

Club and Community Programs Coordinator

Robin’s background in enviro-social sustainability drives her passion for connecting communities to nature. Outside High Park, she can be found at the rink, reading, or hiking with friends.

Rohith Rao Website Bio Pic - credit Boakview Photo - Katarina Kuruc

Rohith Rao

Fundraising & Communications Director

Rohith enjoys the outdoors and is always curious to learn more about nature. He is passionate about writing, reading history, and learning how nature can be integrated into all walks of life.
Sara Street Website Bio Pic - credit Boakview Photo - Katarina Kuruc

Sara Street

Executive Director

With 6 years of experience as Executive Director with the Wye Marsh, Sara is eager to continue connecting people with nature.

Snappy

Educational Animal Ambassador

Snappy the Corn Snake frequently interacts with and enlightens our program participants. Despite their name, Snappy is a very gentle snake and is not known to bite.

Tina Soldovieri

Naturalist Teacher

Tina is a passionate environmental educator. She believes in the need to deeply appreciate the other species that surround us. She loves to hike, garden, camp, and share the joy of being in High Park.

Tobias Mullis-Karman

Naturalist Teacher

In his spare time, Tobias enjoys taking photos, exploring different parts of Toronto, and spending time with friends and family.

Kiera Day

Indigenous Programs Coordinator

Kiera Day is a Plains Cree woman originally from George Gordon First Nation in southern Saskatchewan. Kiera’s passions include Canadian History, Indigenous Rights, and crocheting.
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Anita Princl

Interim Programs Director

By listening to nature, Anita has learned from its healing wisdom and drawn on this throughout her 20 years of teaching and training experience. She has also led outdoor groups, directed programs and managed events.

Yufei Song

Naturalist Teacher

Yufei loves to immerse herself in nature. When she is not exploring the outdoors, some of her hobbies include dancing, spending time with her pets, and knitting and crocheting.

Board Members

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Brittany Murphy

Director At Large

Brittany believes nature and community resources should be accessible to all. Her found passion for nature was inspired by her children. She enjoys travelling and discovering natural environments with her family.

Gurjinder Gill

Director At Large

Enabling health wellness and enjoying the outdoors are top passions for GG. She looks forward to connecting all people with nature!

Heather Johnston

Vice President

Heather is a community builder with passion for people and the health benefits of connecting with nature. She enjoys being a Mom, walking her dog, gardening and finding more sustainable ways to live.
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John Jazwinski

Treasurer

John is an avid outdoorsman. He is a strong believer in the importance of building a deep connection with nature through lifelong learning.

Kayla Kaster

Director At Large

Kayla is enthusiastic about the environment, nature, and the importance of urban natural areas in building community. She enjoys gardening, amateur bird watching, or taking a walk in the park.

Lorne Orleans

Director At Large

Lorne’s career as a Motion Picture Executive enabled worldwide travel and provided countless opportunities to experience wonders the world over. His love of the outdoors – his antidote to a busy life!
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Robin Sorys

Ex-Officio Director of Human Resources

Lifetime resident of High Park, Robin has been volunteering in High Park for over 20 years.
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Sahhara Leckie

Director At Large

Sahhara is a social impact professional who cares deeply about nature-based learning for folks of all ages and the importance of urban nature spaces. She loves to sustainably connect with the outdoors across Canada through hiking, biking, and camping.

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Shane Rajapakse

High Park Supervisor

Shane is the current City of Toronto Supervisor for High Park and is an ex-officio non voting board member. He enjoys traveling and visits at least one interesting place each year.

Su Hutchinson

President & Board Chair

Su has been immersed in the natural environment her entire life. Su has engaged with High Park for many years and can often be found exploring its glorious environs with her family.

Kate Pilgrim

Secretary

Kate connects with nature through travel, hiking and the hidden pockets of nature in the city. Kate enjoys working with strategic and creative nonprofit initiatives.

Kate Pilgrim

Secretary

Kate connects with nature through travel, hiking and the hidden pockets of nature in the city. Kate enjoys working with strategic and creative nonprofit initiatives.

Kate Pilgrim

Secretary

Kate connects with nature through travel, hiking and the hidden pockets of nature in the city. Kate enjoys working with strategic and creative nonprofit initiatives.