Introducing: Our New Biodiversity Plans

By Martina Rowley


Following the enrolment of our new Board of Directors in August, DHBTC has started making good use of its fresh energy and new ideas.  As a new Director at Large, I started without a specific role, so I could get to know the club and its purpose and discover an area where I could be most useful.

At a recent board meeting John Dickason, our new president, proposed we add a Biodiversity Committee to our club. He thought I was a good candidate to lead this committee, the Board agreed, and hey presto, here I am, the new Chair of our first Biodiversity Committee!

It was a pleasure to meet many of you at our November 18th members’ social. For those who would like to learn more about my relevant background, you can find information on my educational and job history on my professional LinkedIn page (click the highlighted link).

My personal development as an environmentalist began during my childhood in rural Germany, where I learned from my thrifty mother how to mend, reuse, and repurpose many things, the value and skills of growing and preparing good food from scratch and respecting nature and all creatures.

After my family and I returned to our native England, I landed my first environmental job. With my manager’s support, I began a string of environmentally focused development opportunities, work engagements, and a new-found passion that has lasted through the decades—My thesis fits the DBTC’s mission with a focus on The importance of environmental education and its enhancement through outdoor experience.”

You can read more about my community engagement efforts and environmental writing in my monthly Green Piece column of the Orangeville Citizen.

In my new role with DHBTC, I look forward to applying my expertise to help us grow, not only as an inclusive and diverse hiking club but also as guardians of nature and the lands along the beautiful Bruce Trail in Dufferin County.



Biodiversity – short for biological diversity – refers to all forms of life that are present in any given area, including all animals, humans, plant species, fungi, microorganisms, and ecosystems; absolutely everything that is alive, no matter how microscopically small.

There are three levels of biodiversity: species diversity, genetic diversity, and ecosystem diversity which, together, form the complex web of life on earth. Each plays an important role. A healthy environment needs a balanced biodiversity so each species and each ecosystem can thrive, without any one species being dominant, in decline, absent, or extinct.

Because biodiversity is a new area for this club, I asked for input at our recent members’ social event to hear what is most important to you. The results are rather substantial, so I will share them in my next blog. Below are the top themes we collected. The question I posed was:

Which actions and activities should the biodiversity committee work on, and offer?

I expected responses related to research, education and outreach, installations or plantings, or physical and fun activities that club members and visitors alike may enjoy. The top four themes we heard were, in order of priority:

#1: Invasive Species
#2: Signage
#3: Guided Walks
#4: Education


So far, we have spoken to and joined biodiversity meetings of other Bruce Trail clubs to see what they are doing. This provides some degree of guidance as we get started. Our next step is to find five to seven internal and external committee members with interest and some experience to support this work.

Could you be one of our committee members? We are looking for ecologists, biologists, naturalists, foresters, and educators or outreach specialists who can contribute, or anyone with some knowledge in one of these subjects. If this is you, please contact the club as soon as possible and tell us how you can help!

We plan to post regular blogs on our website and in newsletters to continue educating and informing you about biodiversity activities in our trail section. Read more in my next blog, where I will share the results from our brainstorming exercise.

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