Profile: Rebecca Ferguson, Program Manager of our Stewardship Initiative

By Carl Michener, Director and Chair of Communications Committee

In late 2015 the Watershed Trust applied for and won a Trillium Grant for a stewardship program aimed at protecting and preserving Silver Creek, an important cold water trout/salmon stream. We are off and running with the undertaking – see for more details.

The grant, along with a generous seed donation from Kolapore Springs Fish Hatchery, enabled us to hire a full time Project Manager, which is something that all-volunteer organizations like ours dream of doing. Imagine: someone other than Board or Watershed Action Group members to do the work. Fantastic!

That person is Rebecca Ferguson, the Trust’s Project Manager for the Silver Creek Stewardship Initiative. Rebecca, hailing from Anten Mills, beat out 25-plus qualified candidates for the job and to date we are delighted with our choice. You couldn’t ask for a keener, more capable and dynamic PM.

Among Rebecca’s many qualifications are a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo with a Diploma in Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation. She has certifications in fish identification, vegetation sampling protocol training and first aid, among others.

Rebecca comes to us fresh from a contract with the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) where she worked as a Watershed Monitoring Technician, assisting with water quality monitoring and stream restoration projects, mapping stands of invasive Phragmites, and other duties.

Prior to working with the NVCA, Rebecca undertook stewardship and monitoring work for the Muskoka Conservancy, where she not only executed the technical aspects of stewardship, but also liaised with the community, promoting stewardship best practices via media channels and running outreach/education events where she coordinated teams of volunteers.

Above, Rebecca hikes along Cathedral Rim Trail at Cathedral Lakes Provincial Park, B.C. on a cross Canada road trip, in the fall, 2014.

In her spare time, Rebecca paints (actually quite well – see, snowboards, hikes in the mountains when she can find them, plays volleyball, baseball and does many other sporty things.

Rebecca has oodles of experience and qualifications for the job, but the thing that sticks out in my mind is her Class II Backpack Electrofishing certification. Watch out for her electrified wand!