Staff

 

Acting Executive Director

Erin MacDonald (she/her)
416.413.9244 x12 | erin[at]yourleaf.org

Erin is a lifelong lover of plants and nature and has been a part of the LEAF team since 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph and has over twelve years of professional experience dedicated to environmental education and stewardship across the non-profit, municipal and private sectors. Before joining LEAF, Erin worked at the City of Vancouver where she helped residents green their neighbourhoods and worked to further the City’s urban food-growing movement. In her current role at LEAF as Acting Executive Director, she oversees partnerships and overall organizational wellbeing.

 

 

Acting Community Programs Manager

Brian Millward (he/him)
416.413.9244 x13 | brian[at]yourleaf.org

Brian holds a Masters of Environmental and Life Sciences from Trent University. He has worked with LEAF over the past 2.5 years within the Community Programs team, delivering engaging environmental programs across the GTA. Brian is passionate about connecting people with nature and is committed to making the LEAF community an inviting space for everyone. As the CP Manager, Brian is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Community Programs.

 

 

Education Coordinator

Lam Tran (she/her)
416.413.9244 x15 | lam[at]yourleaf.org

As an educator and tree enthusiast, Lam is energized by sharing her passion about nature with those around her and supporting others through their learning journey. Lam has been active in the field of urban forestry since 2016 through volunteer opportunities and internships. Holding a Master's of Forest Conservation (MFC) from the University of Toronto, she combined her passion for trees and environmental justice by exploring inequitable urban tree distribution and demonstrating the need and opportunity for tree planting in underserved Toronto communities. As the Education Coordinator, Lam oversees our educational programs, including tree tours, presentations and workshops, the Young Urban Forest Leaders program, the Tree Tenders Training program, and helps deliver the TCH Planting and Stewardship Initiative.

 
 

Stewardship Coordinator

Sarah Halonen (she/her, they/them)
sarah[at]yourleaf.org

Sarah holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Western University. With over 15 years’ experience in the environmental not-for-profit sector, Sarah has coordinated a wide range of stewardship programs connecting people of all ages, abilities, and identities with urban nature in Toronto’s High Park, Allan Gardens Park and Conservatory, and green spaces across London, UK. Sarah enjoys exploring wild places, gardening, insect and plant photography, and botanical sketching. As the Stewardship Coordinator, Sarah oversees our volunteer programs, including Community Tree Planting, Urban Forest Demonstration Gardens and volunteer outreach.

 
 
 

Education and Stewardship Intern

Maiesha Abdelmoula (they/them, she/her)
maiesha[at]yourleaf.org

Maiesha holds a Bachelors of Environmental Design from OCAD University. Maiesha began their connection with LEAF as a participant in the YUFL program, and has worked in a range of positions supporting environmental conservation and education over the last decade. Having grown up next to the temperate rainforest in British Columbia, Maiesha gained an affinity for the natural world as a place of inspiration and introspection. Through their work they hope to inspire others to build their own connections to the natural world. As the Education and Stewardship Intern, Maiesha is responsible for supporting the facilitation of our Community Programs.

 

 

Naturalization Assistant

Elina Shahmirian (she/her)
elina[at]yourleaf.org

Elina’s passion for both human health and the environment has led her to hold an Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master’s of Forests Conservation (MFC) from the University of Toronto. Elina’s research focused on developing a conifer cover map of southern Rouge National Urban Park and modelling the population dynamics of northern flying squirrels in the area. Elina also has field experience monitoring the behaviour of Asian water buffalo, Galloway cattle and Konik horses for a rewilding project in Denmark. Elina’s journey with LEAF began as a volunteer and continued as a participant in the Young Urban Forest Leaders program. Elina is dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and sustainability of our natural environments. The Naturalization Assistant is responsible for supporting our Community Planting and Stewardship events.

 

 

Residential Planting Programs Manager

Brenna Anstett (she/her)
416.413.9244 x16 | brenna[at]yourleaf.org
Brenna holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Environmental Governance from the University of Guelph. She is also an ISA certified arborist. Brenna has worked with the Residential Planting Programs team at LEAF for over eight years and her past experience includes research in dendroclimatology at the University of Guelph and tree planting with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. She is passionate about reforesting the urban environment though educating people about the right tree in the right place and she loves teaching others about fun tree facts. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, hiking and landscape photography. As the Residential Planting Programs Manager, Brenna is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Backyard Tree Planting Program. 
 
 
 

Residential Planting Programs Operations Supervisor

Jess Wilkin (she/her)
416.413.9244 x18 | jess[at]yourleaf.org

Jess holds a Bachelor of Arts in Tourism and Environment Studies from Brock University and a Master of Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto. She is also an ISA certified arborist. Jess' Master's research explored the role of Ontario's electrical distribution corridors in creating native pollinator habitat. She has experience with urban gardening and started out with LEAF in 2016 as a participant in the Young Urban Forest Leaders Program. Jess is passionate about getting people outdoors to explore and learn about their shared environments. As the RPP Operations Supervisor, Jess is responsible for overseeing the Backyard Tree Planting Program office operations, scheduling and client communications.  

 

 

Residential Planting Programs Field Coordinator

Jon Curtis (he/him)
416.413.9244 x20 | jon[at]yourleaf.org

Jon holds a Bachelor of Science specializing in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Indigenous Studies from the University of Toronto. He has long been passionate about the natural world, leading him to spend field seasons in Algonquin Park researching tick populations and the Amazon rainforest surveying amphibians. He has previously worked in the not-for-profit sector coordinating large-scale tree planting follow-up visits to conduct tree survival assessments and planting habitat evaluations for landowners. He is interested in combining his passion for wildlife and forest conservation at LEAF in hopes of creating a healthier urban community through tree planting and ecological restoration. As the RPP Field Coordinator, Jon is responsible for supporting the field operations of the Backyard Tree Planting Program, including consultations, tree planting and follow-ups.  

 

 

Residential Planting Programs Assistant

Doreen Malapitan (she/her)
416.413.9244 x0 | doreen[at]yourleaf.org

Doreen is passionate about engaging and educating her community on the natural environment, as well as conserving green spaces in urban areas. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science with a Minor in GIS from McMaster University. Doreen has experience in monitoring harmful algae blooms, native tree planting and invasive species removal in the GTA. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, baking, travelling and trying food across the city. As the RPP Assistant, Doreen is responsible for supporting the Backyard Tree Planting Program office operations and client communications.  

 

 

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Meandra Provencal (she/her)
416.413.9244 x14 | meandra[at]yourleaf.org

Meandra is passionate about engaging communities in the protection and stewardship of natural spaces. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Toronto and a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration from Humber College. Meandra has experience in environmental policy research, public outreach and environmental stewardship. She first started with LEAF as a volunteer in 2015 and then joined the Young Urban Forest Leaders program in 2020. As the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Meandra oversees our marketing, communications and fundraising activities.  

 

 

Executive Director 

Currently on leave
Janet McKay (she/her)
416.413.9244 x17 |  janet[at]yourleaf.org

Janet holds an Honours B.A. in Environment and Resource Management. She founded LEAF in 1996 and has focused on its evolution ever since.  Janet is also a founding member of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition.  In her time away from LEAF, she loves travelling, hiking, and volunteering with a dog rescue organization.