Jim Robb, Hon. B.Sc., B.Sc. Forestry
Between 1986 and 1990, Jim was the volunteer Vice Chair and then Chair of the non-profit group “Save the Rouge Valley System”. Between 1991 and 1997, Jim was a volunteer with Friends of the Rouge Watershed. In these roles, Jim worked with many volunteers to create the public vision and support that led to the 1990 Rouge Park announcement and 1994 Rouge Park Management Plan. Between 1990 and 1996, Jim was a Vice Chair with Ontario's Environmental Assessment Board and a Niagara Escarpment Hearings Officer.
Since 1997, Jim has worked with FRW's dedicated Board, staff and volunteers to generate public support and approvals for many science-based Rouge Park, Greenbelt and Watershed Improvement Plans and Rouge National Park legislation which prioritizes ecological integrity. Jim has also led FRW's award-winning ecological restoration work which has:
· educated and involved more than 65,000 youth and community volunteers and many partners;
· planted more than 736,000 native trees, shrubs and flowers, and 2,500 kg of native seed;
· restored 350,000 m2 of public land to diverse forest, wetland and meadow habitat;
· yielded $Millions in annual public benefits by combating the growing impacts of pollution, climate change, flooding, and biodiversity loss.
Now nearing retirement age, Jim is busy mentoring a new generation of conservation advocates and volunteers to protect and improve watershed and community health, and ecological integrity.
Thivyah Siva, B.E.S.
Environmental Project Coordinator
Thivyah joined Friends of the Rouge in the fall of 2020. Having explored the Rouge from a young age, Thivyah is passionate about ecosystem conservation and environmental restoration in the Rouge. She has an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree in Environmental Management from York University, and her Ecosystem Management Technology diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming College. Through her academic and professional experiences, Thivyah has grown eager to improve the relationship between humans and wildlife in urban areas.
In her role as Environmental Project Coordinator, Thivyah combines hands-on restoration and advocacy in the Rouge with public education to inspire youth and community members to become local stewards of their uniquely urban wilderness. When away from the office, you can find Thivyah camping, hiking and photographing local wildlife around the Rouge National Park.
Seasonal Project Coordinator
Kailey began with Friends of the Rouge in 2008 as a co-op student from Woburn C.I. Working with Friends of the Rouge solidified a passion for nature that led her to obtain a diploma in Ecosystem Management from Fleming College. Kailey has taken on various roles since her initial introduction with FRW, evolving from a co-op student through to tree planter and project coordinator. Kailey continues to volunteer with FRW and loves to work with the Grey Tree Frog Apprentices. You can sometimes find Kailey visiting the Beare Wetland or the many trails in the Rouge during the early hours of the morning.
David joined the Friends of the Rouge team in the fall of 2020. He grew up exploring the Rouge and its wildlife since the age of 5. David is a dedicated and passionate ecologist with a special place in his heart for the restoration of the Great Lakes watershed. He has two post-secondary degrees with a B. Sc. Double Major in Co-op in Biology and Sustainability from Dalhousie University and an Advanced Diploma in Ecosystem Management Technology from Sir Sandford Fleming College. It is through this education that he developed his commitment to systems-thinking, mindfulness, and interconnectedness.
David is also an avid birder and when he is not up early for work, you can find him in the Rouge birding during dawn chorus at any of the Friends of the Rouge restoration sites. If you have a chance to run into him, feel free to ask him about the local birds in the area – one of his favourite things is teaching beginners and enthusiasts about new birds.
Jessica began working with Friends of the Rouge in May 2021 as a conservation technician. She has always been passionate about wildlife protection and helping humans foster a healthy relationship with the natural world. Her Bachelors of Science in Wildlife Biology & Conservation from the University of Guelph allowed her to study this passion and sparked her interest in ecological restoration. Her work with FRW mainly involves planting native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in an effort to develop the growth of native species in the Rouge River Watershed and contribute to the connectivity of all living things.
Jessica is beginning a Masters of Environmental Science at the University of Toronto Scarborough in September 2021, where she hopes to gain the tools to protect biodiversity, combat ecological losses, and inspire change. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, cooking, swimming, and looking for cool insects! Her favourite insects are ones with bright colours, such as the Festive Tiger Beetle.