Welcome to Conservation Champions, where we introduce you to the staff of Kawartha Conservation who work to protect the people, property and environment within the Kawartha watershed.
Kawartha Conservation balances environmental capacity and human need, while managing natural resource features that are essential for sustaining water quality and quantity, through watershed planning, stewardship, environmental monitoring and research, and management of conservation and natural areas.
Our programs and services are focused within the natural boundaries of the Kawartha watershed, which extend from Lake Scugog in the southwest and Pigeon Lake in the east, to Balsam Lake in the northwest and Crystal Lake in the northeast – a total of 2,563 square kilometres.
Today, we introduce you to Stewardship Coordinator, Holly Shipclark.
Name: Holly Shipclark
Title: Stewardship Coordinator
Q: What is your education background?
A: I received a diploma from Fleming College in Parks and Forest Recreation, and a Bachelor of Natural Resources Sciences from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC.
Both programs had a very strong practical components, which I enjoyed. This helped me feel prepared for my career.
After finishing my post-secondary studies, I’ve taken many opportunities to add practical training and certifications to my career portfolio. These include project management and administration training, chainsaw operation, and everything in between.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: There are so many things that I love about my job. This is a job that provides great diversity of tasks and responsibilities - I am never bored, which is one of the things I love.
The best part about my role is the engagement with the community. Sometimes I get to work with community groups who are undertaking environmental stewardship projects. Other times I get to work one-on-one with a landowner who is seeking guidance and support for a land management issue or concern.
Community and environment are both very high on my personal list of values, and my job allows me to marry these two things; making improvements to both.
Q: Why does what you do matter?
A: Water is a precious resource that connects the community in so many ways. It is a shared resource that must be protected in order to ensure a healthy and vibrant community now and in the future. This can only happen if we work together. As such, it’s critical that we have professionals in the community whose role it is to facilitate community collaboration so that we may continue to work together to take care of our precious water.
Q: What advice would you give others who are interested in a similar position as yours?
A: One of the most important skills I have found in my position is the ability to listen actively. I have learned that sometimes I have to disregard my own preconceptions in order to truly hear what is important to a landowner.
If you want to work in environmental stewardship you have to be an excellent listener. Pay attention to how you communicate. If you find yourself doing most of the talking, you may have some work to do.