Staff & Instructors

"The way the mentors interact with the children is exemplary and strikes the perfect balance of expecting the kids to be independent and take risks, while knowing they are supported."

— Parent of a Pine participant
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"We love Pine camp - in particular, your instructors are a cut above all other day camps."

— Parent of a Pine camper

Board of Directors

Alexis Asselin

Alexis Asselin

Lead Instructor

Alexis’ earliest memories are of climbing tall pines, creating forts, and mucking about in ponds, lakes and streams. Nothing makes him happier than sharing this love of the outdoors with others (including his own family!). Alexis participated in Pine’s Wild Deer Wilderness Skills Program in 2018. This formative experience introduced him to nature connection, which led him to join the Pine team in 2020, first as a Forest School Instructor and then as an Instructor at Pine's Outdoor School programming. He brings a wealth of experience in various outdoor education settings and holds an undergraduate degree in history.

Andrew McMartin

Andrew McMartin

Executive Director

Andrew believes that dirt under children’s fingernails and rain in their hair are essential components to growing up healthy, resilient, and connected to the place we call home. Following this passion for education and nature, Andrew founded the Pine Project in 2008. He is a certified teacher in Ontario and brings 20+ years of experience in outdoor teaching, nature-based mentoring and community-building work with organizations across North America.

Jennifer Peer

Jennifer Peer

Director of Operations

Jennifer loves gantt charts, budgets, strategic planning, and number crunching almost as much as she loves the great outdoors. After adventuring abroad for 12+ years, she returned home to Toronto and joined the Pine Project in 2016, where she eagerly applies her project management, fundraising, financial, and communications skills. She holds a master’s degree in International Development from the London School of Economics and has 15+ years of experience working in program management for conservation and development organizations.

Lee Earl

Lee Earl

Lead Instructor & Volunteer Coordinator

Lee is an avid naturalist and frequenter of the wilds. Some of her favourite activities include looking at beautiful birds, tracking deer throughout the city, geeking out with field guides, and foraging for plants. Lee has travelled the northeast to learn from various mentors, including ongoing studies of plant medicine and wildlife tracking with Earth Tracks Outdoor School and White Pine Programs in Maine. Lee is also co-founder of Wild Foragers Society, facilitating hands-on exploration of wild plants with a large group of plant-lovers in Toronto.

Lucas Donald

Lucas Donald

Lead Instructor

Lucas first started his journey into nature connection as a teenager at Coyote Camp in Massachusetts. In the mountainside wilderness he learned about friction fire, how to carve, identify plants, navigate the forest at night, and build and sleep in survival shelters. Later the same year, he joined the Pine Project, first as a participant in the teen program, and soon after as a volunteer. Since then, Lucas has completed a 7 month apprenticeship program at Sticks and Stones Wilderness School and the Pine Project’s Wild Deer 2 Apprenticeship Program. He is currently taking Earth Track’s Wildlife Tracking Apprenticeship. He has accumulated years of experience as a volunteer, instructor and manager, working in outdoor programs. He maintains a strong commitment to learning and teaching naturalist studies and survival skills.

Natalie Bay

Natalie Bay

Operations Manager

Driven by a deep love of community, Natalie has spent over a decade driving impact and growth for social purpose organizations. She enjoys combining her knack for organizing and passion for working with people to manage programs that inspire change in education, civic engagement and green economy. Natalie’s curiosity for learning about people, the planet, and their interconnections, often takes her around the globe. While at home in Toronto, she is an enthusiastic volunteer, currently serving as a Director on two boards.

Natasha Rutters

Natasha Rutters

Office Administrator

Natasha spent her childhood snowboarding, camping, catching frogs, and watching Fern Gully on repeat. Her passion for all things nature coupled with her savvy organization and customer service skills led her to the Pine Project in 2018. Natasha holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, with a focus on Environment, Resources, and Sustainability.

Owain Meyer-Macaulay

Owain Meyer-Macaulay

Red Wolf Overnight Camp Manager & Instructor

Owain spent his childhood going down every back path and up every tree he could with his three older siblings. He is most passionate about working with kids to inspire resilience, curiosity and self-confidence, while always encouraging silliness, kindness and a respect for the natural world. While pursuing his degree in Environment, Sustainability & Society and Biology at Dalhousie University, he continued to work in the outdoor recreation industry and play his double bass any chance he got. Owain has been involved with youth groups and environmental education organizations in Canada and abroad. Owain has worked in classrooms and in the woods delivering a range of both traditional and alternative programming. One of his greatest passions is creating fun and novel programming. He has helped create summer camp programs and leadership courses for organizations in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Settled back in Toronto, he is busy exploring the beautiful network of ravines and nerding out about our city’s precious natural wonders.

Tatiana Hayek

Tatiana Hayek

Director of Development & Communications

Tatiana is a nature-loving global citizen with an analytical mind and a way with words. After sailing across the Pacific Ocean and van-camping across Canada, she moved to Toronto and joined the Pine Project in 2018. Tatiana holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Yale University and has 10+ years of experience working in environmental research, outreach, and project management for non-profit organizations and academic institutions.

Andy Wood

Andy Wood

Chair

Despite a background in geography and primary education, Andy now finds himself working for a bank in a shiny glass tower. He keeps his connection to nature alive through family bike rides, paddles along the French River, and volunteer work. Andy’s passion for giving kids the opportunity to explore nature and take risks on their own terms led him to the Pine Project, where he applies his expertise in customer experience and success management.

Cathy Barrick

Cathy Barrick

Vice-Chair

Cathy’s love of nature was inspired by a canoe trip, when she experienced the power that nature can have on a life, an attitude and a person. This first-hand experience of being in close contact with nature drew Cathy to the Pine Project. Cathy brings years of experience in not-for-profit leadership and governance to the Pine team. Cathy believes in the capacity of Pine programs to create meaningful change and hopes to contribute to the next generation of nature lovers.

Kim Stevens

Kim Stevens

Treasurer

The granddaughter of a dairy farmer, Kim grew up as a city girl but spent her summers camping, bailing hay and picking corn. She also has very fond memories of helping her grandfather make maple syrup at the family sugar bush in the eastern townships of Quebec. Kim has over 25 years of experience working in finance, bringing her expertise in governance, business advisory, strategic planning and forecasting, and financial reporting to the Pine team. Kim is a graduate of McGill University, a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Business Valuator.

Maia Somers

Maia Somers

Secretary

Maia has a deep love and curiosity for nature that was sparked during her years growing up. Playing in the forest and along the many riverbanks of southern Ontario, Maia found her first playgrounds and classrooms. It is her continued passion for studying and protecting the Earth that drives her interest in the Pine Project. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Geography and Geology and is currently a Master of Science candidate, studying Arctic Hydrology. She is particularly fascinated by the geochemical interactions that occur between water and the land. As a Black woman, Maia knows that her love and familiarity with the outdoors is not always shared amongst people of colour. The outdoors cannot always be accessed equitably, and a sense of safety is not always felt. It is her hope to change the narrative and to create spaces outdoors that are enjoyable and accessible for everyone.

Will Wei

Will Wei

Board Member

Will developed his appreciation for nature on a winter camping trip in northern Ontario, forming one of his most memorable experiences from youth. He believes that greater connections to nature have the power to develop more conscientious and grounded individuals and societies, and was drawn to the Pine Project as an organization that brings these connections to current and future generations. Depending on the time, Will enjoys heading to the Rockies, hiking closer to home or enjoying Toronto’s parks on the weekend. Professionally Will has over 10 years experience in financial analysis, budgeting and strategic planning and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Zebby Rajan

Zebby Rajan

Board Member

Zebby currently works in strategic planning and reporting and has 20 years of experience working in finance. She has extensive experience in forecasting, budgeting/planning, management reporting and financial analysis. She holds a Business Degree from Simon Fraser University and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. In her spare time, Zebby enjoys hiking and biking. She is known for her volunteering in the community, and promoting equity and inclusion.