This is Mark Whitcombe.
Mark is a Conservation Hero, having been recognized with a Friends of the Credit Award in 2017 for his lifetime of environmental education and his extensive engagement with local environmental causes.
Mark has lived in Orangeville since 1982, when he moved from the city to work at a nearby outdoor education school. Mark believes conservation is important because we need to protect our natural areas and maintain biodiversity. He knows the benefits nature brings to our communities and to our personal health and well-being. Mark volunteers his time to help Mother Nature and his actions reflect a lifetime of environmental activism. He is an educator, writer, land steward and community leader.
Mark has been an environmentalist for all his life. As an educator, he held the position of Outdoor Education Consultant with the Toronto District Board of Education. For 10 years Mark also held the position of Co-Editor for Pathways Magazine, the only outdoor education magazine in Ontario. He is the President of the Upper Credit Field Naturalists where he tended to their website and blogs and has been a field trip leader for years.
Mark is a past member of the Friends of Island Lake and was responsible for the development and installation of the interpretive signage at Island Lake Conservation Area. Mark is an active member of the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team and has taken a special interest in the Urban Forestry Program. Aside from planting 1000’s of trees, Mark took on the initiative to source and plant native nut trees at the Orangeville Community Garden and has been very involved in the Town’s Emerald Ash Borer Program.
Mark’s accomplishments are a lifetime of environmental activism. Educating youth to appreciate nature, contributing to the written word on environmental education, leading groups of all ages on field trips, developing interpretive signage for Island Lake, planting trees, and land stewardship have all brought attention to the importance and appreciation of our natural environment and what we can do to protect our watershed. Mark is an educator and his teachings will be a living legacy in his students and audiences.
Mark leads by example. He is a lifelong learner, is always sharing the learning experience with others, and is very willing to give his time and take action. Two summers ago he noticed Chimney Swifts (a Threatened species) flying in downtown Orangeville and began a program of regularly walking in the downtown in the evening to determine which chimneys they were using. After weeks of observations he determined they were using chimneys of 2 buildings. He next determined who the building owners and tenants were, researched the protective legislation and then met with the owners/tenants to discuss the importance of maintaining the chimneys as they were – open and accessible for the birds to roost in.
Mark believes that superheroes are those who give back to their communities, those that “always do a little more than you have to.”
Mark donates his time to help sustain our local environment.
We need you to be a hero too.
Be a conservation hero, donate today!