Denis and his wife Carolyn joined the club in late 2007, having moved to the area in 2006 from the suburbs of the GTA. Denis took over the reins of President in 2014.

We are enjoying life in Orillia now, with all that the beautiful area to explore and discover with the warm and knowledgeable people in the Orillia Naturalists Club. We are constantly in awe of the expertise and entertainment that the area speakers provide to our Club every month.

The Orillia Naturalists gave us a warm greeting and we invite others to visit our meetings or participate in our outings with the club .


Born and raised in Orillia, Marilyn has always enjoyed the outdoors. She has early, fond memories are of many outings with her father and members of the Orillia Naturalists Club, the Brereton Field Naturalists Club and others. Her passion is for paddling and she is currently a certified basic canoe instructor and trip leader. Peter is Marilyn’s partner in all of life’s adventures and her daughter, Tanya, is her pride and joy. Marilyn is looking forward to getting to know members of this Club and expanding her knowledge of nature while coordinating programming and assisting wherever possible.


Barb has done her job on the Vice President, President , and now Past President for the second time -a 12 year commitment, as well as being membership prior to that. Thank you Barb.

She and her family moved to the Orillia area in 1988, and joined the club in 1993. She found it a good way to get out and have walks with her kids. She had always enjoyed nature and learning about it, and she found that there were lots of people in the club to help her learn. She was born in Pickering, but married Warren in 1974, and joined him in Mission B.C.

4 years ago she took Computer Programming at Georgian, a times a week. Her computer skills are a real asset for us, and also for fixing the 4 computers that her children and she use at home.  She has a very supportive husband, Warren- who does 90% of the cooking, and very good it is, as we, who have sampled it at the Pot Lucks, can attest. He enjoys experiencing nature, but not necessarily learning about it. They have 4 children, aged 20-13. Jessie and David have drawn many covers for the Ermine.


I consider myself a small town girl having lived in Almonte, near Ottawa, until the end of high school.
University spanned undergrad at UWO, then “gap” of 5 years to travel, work, then back to UWO for Meds.

Following that I came to Orillia as a family physician in 1982, practising in active practice until 2011, and am now mostly retired. In 1984 I married Roger, thus inheriting 2 step children who have now produced grandchildren.

I take every opportunity I get to share my enthusiasm for the out of doors with them. My naturalist interest really only took off once I got to Orillia, where I joined the
Ganaraska Hiking Club, which takes me out into the wilderness.

Of course I met Bill Zufelt, Luke Irwin and Nancy Ironside, who definitely inspired me. Along the way I joined the Naturalist Club, and have been impressed with the very quiet but solid way in which the club fosters appreciation of, and learning about, nature. I am happy to support the club and its executive and look forward to more learning alongside my club mentors


Donald Macdonald is a retired lawyer to Orillia. At the urging of his wife Dorothy, he joined the club as an opportunity to learn more about nature from a very congenial and informed group of members, both at the club’s speaker evenings and at a variety of nature outings. His enjoyment in the clubs activities has led to him assuming the role of treasurer.


Heather and her physician husband, Walter, moved to Orillia in 1968 where Walt started working for the Rynard Clinic.In December of 1969, the first of 3 children arrived in the Ewing household.Heather has been a full time Mom, now Grandmother ever since!In the early 1980s, the Ewing family moved to Micronesia for a couple of years,living on the islands of Truk, Rota and Saipan.When they returned from Micronesia, Heather worked in Walt’s office taking care of the business end. After that she worked in the Orillia Public library, the Georgian College library and lastly the OPP Headquarter’s library. During this time she also volunteered as a tutor for the Orillia Literacy Council as well as helping with the training of tutors and taking part in executive duties.Heather has been a member of the Orillia Naturalists’ Club for a number of years and has learned a smattering of information about the natural world in which we live. She appreciates our wonderful environment and continues to add to her smattering of knowledge.


Morris he has been coming to Lake Simcoe for more than 30 years. He is active as a sea kayaker, backcountry cross-country skier, cyclist, camper, birder and citizen scientist. While living in Toronto, Morris worked for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in communications and the Ministry of Finance as a senior economist. Since retiring in 2016, he and wife Dana now make their full-time home in a “cottage” on the north shore of Lake Simcoe in Ramara. He has degrees in urban planning, journalism and law.


Although Nancy has long been a member of the Orillia Naturalists’ Club, she has rarely been on the executive. Learning to do a web page was an interesting challenge and the job of Publicity followed from that.

I arrived in Orillia at 3 years of age, attended Central School and Orillia Collegiate Institute, before going to University of Toronto for Medicine, then Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to study Anaesthesia.

I returned to Orillia in 1962. My interest in Birds started on a dude ranch in Arizona – all these beautiful birds were on their way to Canada! Bill Cattley and Fran Westman were wonderful mentors in the early days, and friendships made in the Club have continued to stimulate my interest. I have branched out to butterflies, mushrooms, mosses, and I would love to do lichens. And, who can ignore the flowering plants?

For many years I traveled, mainly to South America, to see birds, and before that I had traveled to most of the significant dive spots in the world to look at tropical fishes. Visits to wild areas are rejuvenating, and the science behind some of these studies is mentally stimulating.


Kevin is a teacher with the Simcoe County District School Board and a recent member of the Orillia Naturalists’ Club. He has a love of the outdoors which was first cultivated many years ago at the family cottage in northern Ontario and has continued with the development of interests in canoeing, kayaking, camping, biking and hiking.

He likes to frequent such places as Grant Woods, Scouts Valley, Awenda Provincial Park and Matchedash Bay locally to enjoy the outdoors.He is hoping to develop greater appreciation and knowledge of the natural environment through the Orillia Naturalists’ Club. In 2008 he joined the executive as the Archivist.


Warren Ryckman was a carpenter for over 40 years and the longer he worked the grumpier he became​.

His last working year was spent renovating the old United Church in Hawkestone and he has been living there with his wife, Barb and dog Marley for a year and a half and is now not so grumpy​.

He has been enjoying retired life for the last few years catching up on reading, travelling to Florida and Mexico, cooking, and even birding.He is the father of 4 grown children and the grandfather to one grandson, Daniel, who is the apple of his eye. He and Daniel enjoy going swimming at the YMCA.


Pat Woodford, the Chair of the Conservation Committee, was born in Toronto. After graduating from The University of Toronto, in honours science, she taught chemistry, and biology and environmental science in North York High Schools for 30 years.

As Chair of the Conservation Committee she has led us in monitoring areas that have significance for natural history or the environment. For example, we have looked at plans for Tudhope Park, and we have commented on draft reports for Severn River Conservation Reserve and Kahshe Lake Barrens Conservation Reserve. In the past we were very involved in the OMB hearing about the Victoria Point Wetlands.

Pat has been involved in trying to protect the Oro Moraine, and in saving Lake Simcoe. She is now on the Copeland Forest Commitee.

Her hobbies are swimming, and producing lovely meals for her frequent visitors.

Long Point Bird Observatory’s first banded bird was a Song Sparrow


Tanya was raised in Orillia and is the daughter of Marilyn Clark, and grand-daughter of Fred Noakes, one of the founders of the Orillia Naturalists’ Club. Tanya has joined the Executive to assist with communications and coordinating the Christmas Bird Count. She enjoys hiking with her dog Charlie at nearby trails, bird watching and canoeing. Tanya appreciates the wealth of knowledge the club members have and loves opportunities to explore different places.