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

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Alexis Asselin

Alexis Asselin

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. Alexis participated in Pine’s Wild Deer Wilderness Skills Program in 2018 and is thrilled to continue contributing to the Pine community as an Instructor. He brings over a decade of experience in outdoor education 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 passions 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.

Chris Gilmour

Chris Gilmour

Adult Program Instructor & Coordinator

Chris is passionate about wildlife tracking, herbal medicine, bow making, and ancient wilderness living skills, and is a devout student of the natural world. He is a professional outdoor educator, wilderness guide and skills instructor, and emergency management planner. He has 12+ years of experience helping people of all ages deepen their knowledge of the natural world through experiential education, wilderness guiding and wilderness & urban survival training. Chris runs the Pine Project’s adult Wild Deer Program and founded our Red Wolf Overnight Camp.

Eileen Tran

Eileen Tran

Lead Instructor

Eileen grew up exploring ravines, making mud soup, and pretending to live in her family garden. With passions for wilderness survival and primitive living skills, Eileen eagerly became involved with the Pine Project in 2012. Eileen has been teaching and mentoring children and adults inside and outside of the classroom since 2010, is a nature connection consultant for several schools, and also loves taking on major organizational projects.

Hannah Dabrowski

Hannah Dabrowski

Program Manager

Hannah grew up engaging with nature through weeks at summer camp, weekends at the family cabin, and many days spent climbing the maple tree in her front yard. She joined the Pine Project in 2019, bringing with her a myriad of experience in program management, recreation research, and field work. Hannah holds a master’s degree in Leisure Studies from Brock University and has 10+ years working with camps and leading backcountry expeditions.

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.

Léna Baronikian

Léna Baronikian

Instructor

Léna grew up in the heart of downtown Toronto, but always found ways to be outside and explore the parks when they could. They are an OCT certified teacher, with a focus on teaching and learning outside the classroom. Léna is a strong believer in providing opportunities for kids to explore and engage in the outdoors, especially when in a city like Toronto! In their spare time they go for walks in the parks, or down by the lake, and then enjoy painting whatever they see with watercolour. Léna has many years experience working with children and adults in educational settings - often outside the classroom - and is excited to be a part of the Pine team!

Lucas Donald

Lucas Donald

Lead Instructor

Lucas first started his journey into deep nature connection as a teenager in Massachusetts at Coyote Camp. In the mountainside wilderness he learned about friction fire, how to carve, identify plants, navigate the forest at night with no lights and build shelters out of sticks and leaves to sleep in overnight. The same summer he was introduced to the Pine Project as a participant of the teen program at Art of Mentoring, and that winter he began volunteering at Pine. Since then, Lucas has completed a 7 month apprenticeship program at Sticks and Stones Wilderness School and the Pine Project’s own Wild Deer 2 apprenticeship program. Lucas has accumulated years of experience as a volunteer and instructor working in outdoor programs with kids and adults and 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

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 motivation. While pursuing his degree in Environment, Sustainability & Society and Biology at Dalhousie University, he continued to work in the outdoor recreation industry. Owain has been involved with youth groups and environmental education organizations in Canada and abroad. After completing his Bachelor of Education at Nipissing University, Owain worked in classrooms and in the woods delivering a range of both traditional and alternative programming. Settled back in Toronto, he is so excited to bring the many wonders of the woods to Forest School and learn from the Pine community.

Paul Kitz

Paul Kitz

Lead Instructor & Cultural Coordinator

Paul grew up eating beach mud (to his parent’s dismay), finding special places in the neighbourhood to be with animals, and venturing out on canoeing and camping trips. Following his passions for laughter, lessons learned from nature, and supporting holistic growth of young people, he joined the Pine Project in 2017. Paul is a Child and Youth Care Practitioner with experience working for non-profit organizations focused on inspiring people to protect the natural world, and supporting the healthy development of young people in order to build healthier families, communities, and a healthier society.

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.

Tracy Parker

Tracy Parker

Vice Chair

Tracy developed a deep connection to nature as a child in rural Nova Scotia. While searching for similar opportunities for her own children, she discovered the Pine Project and felt a strong call to action. As a corporate social responsibility professional, Tracy brings her expertise in strategic development, stakeholder engagement, reporting and communications to the Pine team. She holds an MBA degree from the Schulich School of Business (York University) and a Bachelor of Public Administration from Carleton University.

Cory Wanless

Cory Wanless

Secretary

Cory is happiest in a canoe in Killarney, on top of a mountain in the Rockies, or climbing cliffs in the escarpment. His belief in the power of nature to shape kids and adults alike into caring, grounded and thoughtful humans led him to join the Pine Project. On days he isn’t outside (which is the vast majority of them unfortunately), Cory is a lawyer with a practice focused on corporate accountability, human rights, Indigenous rights, environmental law, police accountability and defending human rights defenders. Cory devotes a sizable portion of his practice to access to justice cases.

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.

Cathy Barrick

Cathy Barrick

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.