Colleen has spent many years in the world of nature interpretation, protection and restoration, including 12 years at Toronto and Region Conservation and 2.5 years at Ontario Nature.
From 2015 to 2020, she was Director of Education at the Toronto Botanical Garden. In this capacity, Colleen brought a conservation and sustainability perspective to programs, policies and practices.
Colleen has served on many environmental committees and boards, including those of Ontario Invasive Plant Council, LEAF and Project Swallowtail. She is also a long-time volunteer with a local community meal program called Dinner with Dignity.
Long ago, Colleen completed undergraduate and Master’s degrees in environment and resource studies. It was an urban tree-planting gig following her first year of university that turned her on to native plants. This obsession continues today.
Since 2009, Colleen has chaired the Horticulture Outreach Collaborative (HOC), which brings together ecologists and horticulturalists to protect native plant diversity in Ontario. The Grow Me Instead guide, now in its third edition, is HOC’s most popular initiative.
Colleen’s children accuse her of loving her garden, more than them. Sometimes the truth hurts.