About Tree Trust

Our Mission

The Trust is a program of the Elora Environment Centre. Our mission is to support citizens across Ontario to protect and enhance their urban tree canopy through tree planting, stewardship, preservation, public education and advocacy about the value and importance of trees in our community.

Supporting local legacy trees

Tree Trust, a program of the Elora Environment Centre, is a foundational program established in June 2019 after seeing a growing need to preserve the mature trees that offer a tremendous environmental value to both our community and the world at large. Our mission is to help preserve important legacy trees in communities across Southern Ontario. Our mandate is to hire professional, certified arborists to practice their craft by reducing a tree’s crown, removing deadwood, retrenching where needed and more – all of which effectively extend the life of a legacy tree.

In two years we have built the Tree Trust program to include seven community partners: Centre Wellington, Stratford-PerthMeafordToronto Island, Town of The Blue MountainsWaterloo Region and Guelph. Each community partner manages their own local Tree Trust Chapter supported by Tree Trust headquarters based in Elora, Ontario. Here’s a bit of what we’ve done in the past:

A program of the Elora Environment Centre

Founded in 1993, our mission has been to identify, field test and deliver environmental programs at the community level, and to promote sustainability through public education and program activities. Our vision is that all communities and citizens adopt sustainable approaches to how they live and utilize resources such as energy, water and materials, and commit to environmental stewardship as a way of life. Our programs over the years have included:

  • 40,000 Residential Energy Efficiency home visits which provided residents with $10 million in Federal grants and saving 25 thousand tonnes of CO2 annually
  • Well Aware Program that helped rural landowners ensure their well water was safe
  • Rain Garden Program
  • Bicycle courier business pilot
  • Small commercial audits in Wellington, Grey, and Bruce Counties to help cut electrical use for small business owners
  • A Green Hotline which produced a comprehensive Community Energy Plan for Centre Wellington
  • Home Electrical ‘Audit’ Program pilot to identify opportunities to cut electricity use
  • Tree Inventory Program with an expanding database of 12,000 trees and more than 300 volunteers and 20 summer students
  • Citizen Pruner Pilot Program which taught community members how to prune dozens of young public and schoolyard trees under the guidance of certified arborists
  • Regular community tree talks and walks

Board of Directors

Toni Ellis
Toni Ellis is a long-time environmental activist who believes that change happens from the ground up.
Toni is a board member of the Elora Environment Centre and is coordinating the urban tree program, Neighbourwoods, which mobilizes volunteers to plant, steward, inventory and advocate for our community’s urban forest. Toni managed Forests Ontario’s Heritage Tree program which recognizes the province’s most historically important trees. Toni was recognized as Citizen of the Year in 2007 and awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
Randall Howard
A prolific serial technology CEO, investor and philanthropist, Randall is committed to building world-leading high growth technology organizations. Randall is also a co-founder of EEC.

Randall drives transformation and growth across a broad spectrum spanning Social Innovation, Impact Investing to Angel Investing to accelerate entrepreneurial change in Canada and beyond. Randall was the 1997 High Technology Entrepreneur of the Year and the 2014 Canadian Angel of the Year. He is a founding EIR and mentor for CAMPthe leading accelerator for Canadian startups wanting to engage with the Chinese market and is co-founder of the Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators. In late 2013, Randall was invited to a “Group of Seven” by Governor General David Johnston to assist in nation-building around Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017.
Katelyn McFadyen
Katelyn holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh in Environmental Sustainability where her research focused on strategies to assist communities in benefiting from Scotland’s ambitious renewable energy goals. Returning from Scotland, Katelyn began her relationship with the Elora Environment Centre as a Community Energy Plan Coordinator. Through this role, Katelyn engaged with many public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to develop a plan focused on community greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Katelyn currently works for the Town of Caledon implementing the Town’s Corporate Energy Management Plan through facilitating a cross-departmental Corporate Energy Team and managing the Town’s energy revolving fund. Katelyn joined the Board of Directors in 2015.
Kathy Maggs
Kathy joined the Elora Environment Centre in 2003 as Operations Administrator and became General Manager in 2008. She also volunteers with NeighbourWoods working toward sustaining our urban forest. Kathy joined the EEC Board in 2015. Her background in environment and resource studies has guided her 17-year career path in the conservation and environmental non-profit sector. 
Betty Muise
Betty Muise is a consultant specializing in adult education and training program design and facilitation. She has more than twenty-five years of experience working with both corporate, public sector and non-governmental organizations in North American and Europe. Throughout her career, Betty has focused on complex, multi-faceted and highly technical issues in sectors such as healthcare, the environment, waste and recycling, energy, housing and agriculture. 

Samantha Tremmel Lamb
Samantha is a passionate environmentalist with experience in community and institutional climate action planning. She led ClimateActionWR (a collaborative between Reep Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region) through the process of bringing municipalities together with local organizations and community members to develop Waterloo Region’s long-term community climate action strategy: TransformWR.
She currently works at Conestoga College, managing environmental sustainability and energy performance initiatives, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions across campus operations.
Samantha is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier’s Environmental Studies program, and Conestoga College’s Sustainable Business Management program.


Phil Guenter
Phil Guenter is the owner and lead climber of Baum Tree Care. He graduated from Humber College in the Arboriculture Apprenticeship program and Sir Sanford Fleming College as a Forestry Technician. He has been an arborist for over 15 years and is extremely passionate about trees and their conservation.
He is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Ontario Chapter. He volunteers with various tree stewardship groups in Center Wellington such as  Neighbourwoods on the Grand & Communitrees.
Baum Professional Tree Care is a family-owned and operated tree service in Center Wellington since 2009. We specialize in tree climbing, allowing us to work on your tree with less impact on your yard from heavy equipment.

Todd Irvine
Todd is the founder of City Forest, a company dedicated to increasing our understanding, appreciation and stewardship of trees and the natural environment. He is a certified arborist and co-founder of Spacing magazine. His writing on trees and ecology has appeared in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and Canadian Geographic.
Don Eaton
Don joined the Elora Centre in 1994. His knowledge of physics and almost 20 years of construction experience lead to the Centre being the pilot community for Canada’s home energy rating system. Don has travelled from coast to coast to coast training environmental groups, municipalities, and aboriginal communities on energy-efficient building retrofits. In 2000, he became the Executive Director of the Environment Centre and continued until his retirement in 2008. Since then he has continued working with the Centre on program development with a special interest in social marketing for climate change action.
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