Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024
Women of Ontario Parks 2020

Happy International Women’s Day!

At Ontario Parks, we simply couldn’t do without the female members of our team. They work as biologists, instructors, wardens, superintendents, planners, managers and more.

Here’s the scoop on our staff:

Southeast Zone Planners

Collage of women who work for Ontario Parks.Top row (left): Lesley Baird, Angela Adkinson/ Bottom row (left): Kim Harris, Sue Grigg, Kendra Couling

The women of the Southeast Zone planning team demonstrate a shift in female planning leadership in Ontario Parks over the past 15 years.

Their multidisciplinary backgrounds and diverse skill sets make them a strong team, collaborative, passionate and dedicated to the work they do protecting resources through planning. The opportunity to work with colleagues at park and provincial level, and engage Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public on a variety of unique projects and landscapes makes this a rewarding role.

“We are all proud to tell people that we can work to protect beautiful areas and special elements of our province in our work with Ontario Parks. “We are grateful to work with so many incredible women who regularly inspire us to learn and grow in our careers.”

Christine Prince, Deputy Superintendent

Christine poses with a snowman and a colleague

Christine, who currently works as Deputy Superintendent of Bronte Creek Provincial Park, has been part of the Ontario Parks family for 26 years.

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He works to keep the park safe for our visitors and his projects range from removing hazardous trees to training over 80 summer employees each summer.

Brenda Verkuil, lead park cleaner

Brenda cleaning the bathroom sink

For almost 20 years, Brenda has kept the bathrooms at Port Burwell Provincial Park spotlessly clean.

Brenda loves the park, her job and her team. She is very proud to constantly receive positive praise for the cleanliness of all the facilities she works so hard to care for!

Elizabeth McRae, deputy park superintendent

Elizabeth working with a map.

Camping in provincial parks was a huge part of Elizabeth’s childhood. She began her career as an Ontario Ranger at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

In 2004, Elizabeth landed her dream job as a fish and wildlife technician at Algonquin Provincial Park. Sixteen years later, she is still at Algonquin, having served in numerous positions, including business services supervisor, procurement and contract management coordinator, and now overseeing operations on the Highway 60 corridor.

When she’s not working, Elizabeth spends all her time fishing, skiing, and camping inside the park with her family.

“I feel very lucky to work in such a special place. My favorite part of my job is providing leadership and support to new staff and watching them achieve their potential.

“It is very encouraging to see many more women in leadership positions at Ontario Parks (and the larger OPS) than when I started.”

Jess Stillman, Discovery Outreach Leader

Jess dressed as a historical pioneer and holding an apple
Currently at Bronte Creek Provincial Park, Jess is a twelve-year veteran of Ontario Parks.

Jess develops and leads school outreach programs, helping reach new audiences for Ontario parks and connecting the next generation to nature.

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Sheila Wiebe, Marketing and Education Specialist

Sheila in reflective vest petting 2 dogsSheila has dedicated 32 years of service to Ontario parks.

At Bronte Creek Provincial Park, work to develop local partnerships to offer visitors new and innovative activities, such as Plein air painting, tai chi and yoga.

Agnese Bortolussi, assistant park superintendent

Aggie steps in between other staff members.

Aggie has been a staple of Ontario parks since 1986. She works in Sandbanks, North Beach and Lake on the Mountain provincial parks.

Aggie has been involved in all aspects of park operations, from working the gates to helping with special events and from traffic control to planting marram grass.

“Being hired by Ontario Parks was like a dream come true. After 34 years working in parks, I can still honestly say that I love my job and enjoy coming to work.

The best part of my job has always been the people I work with. As hectic and challenging as it can be here at Sandbanks, the staff make the difference. This place has been like my second home. “I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”

Chris Hague, park biologist

Chris Hague.

Chris Hague has worked as a Woodland Caribou Provincial Park biologist for almost a decade. Chris has worked on fire ecology research, caribou studies, vegetation management planning, and biodiversity monitoring.

His calm and thoughtful approach to both his work and the people he works with is inspiring. We all benefit from their love and dedication to the Woodland Caribou landscape.

“Without a doubt, I work for the best park in the province.”

A big thank you to the amazing women who work hard to protect our provincial parks!