Faces of Forest Ontario: Steph Burns
Posted: July 26, 2018
Name: Steph Burns
Position: Forestry Program Manager
Favourite Tree: American elm
Steph has played an integral role in Forests Ontario forestry programs since she started in 2014. As the Forestry Program Manager, her tasks vary depending on the season, though she is always busy overseeing the 50 Million Tree Program and the growth of Forest Recovery Canada. Between communicating with planting partners, leading workshops, and doing in-field assessments, Steph also finds time to work with Community Forest Managers and Tree By-Law Officers, help out with Forests Ontario’s Tree Marking Program, and sit on the voting board of directors for the Ontario Invasive Plant Council. Committed to Forests Ontario’s mission of re-greening the province, Steph particularly enjoys being out in the field and meeting new people and partners.
Originally from Hamilton, Steph has lived and worked in various places across the province. Her five summers with Ontario Parks brought her to Kirkland Lake, Parry Sound, and Sudbury, and she also worked as a Resource Technician in Peterborough after completing the Forestry Technician and Urban Forestry program at Fleming College. When asked what sparked her interest in forests, Steph pinpoints the opportunity she had with the Stewardship Youth Ranger program through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry when she was 16. Moving forward, Steph hopes to keep on top of climate change research, get more involved in seed forecasting and collection, and eventually become a tree marking auditor.
When she was a kid, you couldn’t keep Steph away from trees. Not much has changed these days, but instead of climbing them, she’s planting, photographing, or painting them. She also enjoys camping, baking, and playing either of her three instruments: the flute, guitar, or piano.