Nova Scotia Nature Trust | Nova Scotians Protecting Nova Scotia



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Bonnie Sutherland

Executive Director

bonnieBonnie Sutherland, our ambitious Executive Director since 1997, is the driving force behind the Nature Trust. Bonnie grew up in Kingston, Ontario and attended Lakehead University where she earned a BSc. in Biology & Natural Science, an HBOR (Outdoor Recreation), and a B.Ed., focusing on Biology & Geography. After working in environmental consulting, planning and management of provincial and national parks, and adventure and environmental education she came to Nova Scotia to get her Master of Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University. It was during her thesis work on 'Enhancing Private Land Conservation in Nova Scotia' that she crossed paths with the Nature Trust and the connection was instant. When not immersed in funding applications and program development, Bonnie is probably exploring the very wilderness she works so hard to protect. She enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking and skiing with her partner Sean and children Cian and Keira.


Ross Firth

Director of Conservation

Ross brings a lifelong passion and commitment to parks and protected areas. He has over 25 years of experience working with organizations such as the U.S. National Park Service, Alberta Parks, Scotland’s Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and as an Executive with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Environment and Conservation with responsibility for wildlife and parks and natural areas. He holds an undergraduate degree from Acadia University and a Masters of Applied Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. In his spare time he can be found cycling, hiking, canoeing, cross country skiing or reading.


Barbara Haley

Philanthropy Director

Barbara was born in Trinidad and was fascinated from an early age by the rich variety of bird and plant life outside her home. She moved to Canada at age 7, and has lived in the middle and on both coasts of the country. Barbara earned her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and B. Ed. from Queens. She returned to Nova Scotia and spent four years at Saint Mary’s University, before following her passion for nature to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. In her spare time, she enjoys getting up before dawn to go birding.


Nicole Arsenault

Outreach and Communications Manager

NicoleHaving grown up in a miliary family, Nicole had the unique opportunity to explore many of Canada's stunning natural landscapes. Even though she's a "come from away'er", she's a passionate Nova Scotian and is thrilled to have such a beautiful home in which to raise her son. With degrees in biology and education, and a masters degree in environmental studies, Nicole is happy to be using her skills to advance land conservation in her favourite Canadian province. Her passions include food, hiking, camping, cycling and playing music.


Peter Green

Conservation Manager

Born and raised in Wolfville Nova Scotia, Peter Green has long been fascinated with Nova Scotia's beautiful natural places. His interest in maps and landscapes led to a degree in Geography, a Master's in planning and a GIS Diploma at COGS. After leaving the Nature Trust for a time to work in Scotland, Peter has returned to co-ordinate both the Coastal and Eastern Shore conservation projects. An avid outdoorsman, Peter enjoys hiking and camping, and is a keen photographer.



Karen McKendry

Conservation Coordinator

Karen spent her childhood exploring the woods and waters of Ontario and Quebec, clearly the "nature nut" of her family. Her passion for the environment, paired with a lot of hard work, has earned her a BSc. in Ecology, and Master's of Environmental Studies. When not devoting herself to the Nature Trust, she can be found rooting around in her garden, paddling on the Northwest Arm, cooking up a storm, or laughing with her two wild little boys.


Christina Nunn

Office and Volunteer Coordinator

christinaBorn and raised in Nova Scotia, Christina has had a passion for the outdoors since she was a child, and exploring this amazing province is one of her favourite pastimes. This interest in the natural world led her to obtain a Diploma in Water Resources Technology and to work as an environmental technologist. She also has extensive experience in the non-profit sector and education. Always passionate about volunteering, she has served with various organizations, including as a board member of a farmers’ market, as well as participating with the Nature Trust at events and as a campaign team member. When not exploring local trails and beaches, this avid foodie can be found experimenting in the kitchen and sharing meals with family and friends.


John Paterson

Land Stewardship Coordinator

John grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and later moved to Namibia to work with the ministry of Environment and Tourism. He has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management.  He was based in Kaokoland and Damaraland situated in the arid northwest of Namibia working with rural communities and free ranging wildlife populations. He then became the warden of the Skeleton Coast Park spending 12 years managing a very large tract of desert coastline. In 2008 he took up a post with the BirdLife International Global Seabird Programme managing the Albatross Task Force team in Namibia. John is an avid hiker, sea kayaker and, since moving to Nova Scotia in January 2014, has added canoeing, snow shoeing and cross country skiing to the list. These outdoor activities allow him to pursue his passion for photography and birdwatching.


Maggie Sutherland

Communications Coordinator

Maggie grew up exploring the woods and beaches along the Northumberland Strait which gave her an appreciation for nature from an early age. She completed a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geography from Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland where she became passionate about conservation and wildlife. After spending a couple of years traveling and working in Italy and England she returned to St. John’s, NL and became the program manager for a science education not-for-profit. Maggie is thrilled to help protect natural landscapes in her beautiful home province. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, gardening, crafting and cross country skiing.


Nick Wilkinson

Database coordinator

wilkinson Nick Wilkinson joined the Nature Trust team in May 2010, as the Assistant Office Co-ordinator. Although he was at one time headed for an academic career in medieval history, Nick's passion for the environment and his love of music have since steered him in a much different direction. He is excited to be involved in helping to protect and preserve Nova Scotia's beautiful natural places. When not working at the Nature Trust, you can find him out hiking, cycling, taking photographs or playing music.