The Friends of Kananaskis Country is a federally-registered charity incorporated under Alberta's Society Act. It has a small but dedicated staff, a committed volunteer Board of Directors and hundreds of passionate, caring volunteers working collaboratively to keep Kananaskis Country's natural and cultural heritage available for future generations.
Rosemary Power - Program Coordinator
Lindsay Clayton - Bookkeeper
The Friends of Kananaskis Country is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Though they bring a diversity of backgrounds and skills to the Board, they all have one thing in common: a passion for Kananaskis Country. Our Board ensures that our programs and projects focus on:
· Environmental education;
· Volunteer participation; and
· Protection of the natural and cultural heritage of Kananaskis Country.
Don is a long time Calgarian whose interest in and commitment to outdoor recreation and nature began as a youth with his parents and friends and grew in the course of working towards a BSc in Biology from U of C. Summer work as a park interpreter in Banff and Lake Louise saw his commitment to nature and wilderness protection grow as well as the importance of engaging visitors and the public. This work set the stage for his 35-year career with both Parks Canada and Kananaskis Country as a park planner working on a wide range of planning projects and issues.
In Kananaskis Country, Don worked mainly on capital construction, park management plans and focussed on trail planning. Don helped to establish the first Trail Care program for the Friends of Kananaskis Country and, now in retirement, he relishes the chance to help enhance and grow this program in new and exciting ways. Don stays active along with his wife Ann in snowshoeing, skiing, hiking and camping as well as playing with grandchildren and volunteering with other groups in the community.
Hilary is currently a PhD candidate in Ecology at the University of Calgary. Lured to Alberta by the promise of mountains and large swaths of forest, Hilary was excited to spend twelve months living in and studying Kananaskis Country for her PhD research on animal movement at habitat edges. Hilary is an active member of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE), volunteers for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and is always excited to share her passion for ecology and conservation with her community.
Hilary is proud to serve on the Friends of Kananaskis Country Board of Directors, as she believes strongly in the value of involving youth and adults in the sustainable use of the precious natural landscape that sits on Calgary’s doorstep. Outside of her ecological pursuits, Hilary enjoys teaching and practicing yoga, getting into the saddle of her bicycle as often as possible, and hiking and cross-country skiing in the mountains.
Derek is a long-time fan of the outdoors, having started hiking, backpacking, canoe tripping, rock climbing and skiing in Ontario in the 1970’s. Before moving west, he completed the Bruce Trail end to end, did volunteer work to protect endangered Lake Ontario marshlands, was Ontario’s youngest cross country ski patroller and won the provincial orienteering championships. After moving to Calgary in 1981, he fed his passion with hiking, white water canoeing and downhill skiing in the Rockies. In the last few years, he’s been averaging 20-30 hiking days per year, covering over 250 km of trails and easy scrambles annually, primarily in the northern half of K Country, plus skiing 30-40 days per year. He has held several directorship positions in community organizations, including acting as President of his Condo Association and his gliding club, managing newsletters at Bow Waters Canoe Club and the Victoria Macintosh User Group, and others.
Derek retired in 2011 after 32 years in the oil and gas industry, with background in engineering, geology, economics, planning and management, including several national and international assignments. Since retiring he has expanded his volunteering, and now acts as a SnowHost at Sunshine Village in the winter, helps the Bow Valley Stewards with parks maintenance projects, assisted with the CIS 2011 Women’s Basketball National Championships, and contributes to several blogs including his own and Powderwatch.com, where he is the reporter on Sunshine ski conditions. He now resides in Harvie Heights with his partner Karen, surrounded by the mountains in which he spends his time.
James is a lawyer at Parlee McLaws LLP in Calgary primarily working as insurance defence counsel but with a special interest in environmental law focusing on climate change and the conservation, protection and restoration of ecosystems and the environment.
James is excited to be involved with the Friends’ as this has allowed him to become actively involved in work that would encourage members of the public to share in the beauty of Kananaskis. Ultimately, the more people who witness the majestic K-Country, the more people will fall in love with it, and become aware of its environmental stresses and challenges. When that happens, more people will then become engaged with their environment and be more willing to act to ensure its conservation for future generations.
Beyond the Friends’, his work and environmental pursuits, James enjoys camping, kayaking, hiking, running, cycling and has recently become involved in yoga. As a native-Englishman he enjoys playing ‘football’, and also plays guitar.
When Mark was a wee lad, he was given a book called The Wild Things. Unfortunately, he never read it because he was too busy roaming in those wilds himself. It began in the ponderosa pine forests and among sagebrush in the Okanagan Valley during his youth. A move to Victoria, BC for an undergraduate degree opened his experiences to the world of academia, and mountain biking. Trail design, use and abuse suddenly became evident to him. In 1998, he completed a graduate degree at the University of Manitoba but was pulled back to BC and began working in the environmental field with The Nature Trust of BC. After moving to Calgary in 2007, he found passion and curiosity rekindled again among the wild things in Kananaskis Country. Giving back, passing on knowledge and shaping the future together have now become important aspects to what he wants to achieve in life. Volunteering to sit on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Kananaskis Country Cooperating Association is an important avenue towards that goal. When not volunteering, you can find him teaching courses in Physical Geography and Biogeography at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Otherwise in his spare time, he is likely to be found among the wild things.
Alberta Parks Liaisons
The Friends of Kananaskis Country works closely with the Government of Alberta, through Tourism, Parks and Recreation. We are grateful for the support and guidance we receive from the Kananaskis Country, Parks Division Liaisons: