Steering Committee

Our steering committee includes representatives from 11 different organizations across the province dedicated to various green infrastructure focus areas.

Conservation Ontario

Conservation OntarioA network of 36 Conservation Authorities: community-based watershed management agencies dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing Ontario’s natural resources. Conservation Authorities deliver programs and services totaling almost $300 million annually through more than 3,000 full time and seasonal, part time staff.

Representative: Jo-Anne Rzadki, Manager, Business Development and Partnerships, Conservation Ontario

Credit Valley Conservation

Credit Valley Conservation logoCredit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a community-based environmental organization, dedicated to protecting, restoring and managing the natural resources of the Credit River Watershed. Established by the provincial government in 1954, CVC is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario.

Representative: John Sinnige, Director, Watershed Management, Credit Valley Conservation

Forests Ontario

Forests OntarioA not-for-profit organization created through the merger of Trees Ontario and the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA). As a united voice, Forests Ontario promotes and supports forest restoration, stewardship, education and awareness, and encourages and supports landowners in their efforts to plant and manage their forests. Forests Ontario also creates a strong public presence advocating for abundant, healthy and sustainable forests.

Representative: Rob Keen, CEO, Forests Ontario

Greenbelt Foundation

Greenbelt FoundationThe Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable grant-making organization working to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, and protect and grow natural features.

Representative: Kathy Macpherson, Vice President, Research and Policy, Greenbelt Foundation

Green Communities Canada

Founded in 1995, Green Communities Canada is a national non-profit association of 20 community-based environmental organizations working together for a vibrant, equitable and sustainable future.

                                                           Representative: Brianna Salmon, Executive Director, Green Communities Canada

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

Green Roofs for Healthy CitiesA non-profit industry association whose mission is to develop the green roof and wall industry throughout North America. Members include green roof and wall professionals, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers, components suppliers and nurseries.

Representative: Steven Peck, Founder and President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation AuthoritySince 1951, LSRCA has been dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing the Lake Simcoe watershed. Our jurisdiction, which began in the East Holland River with five municipalities, has grown to include the entire Lake Simcoe watershed with the exception of the City of Orillia and the Upper Talbot River subwatershed.

Representative: Glenn MacMillan, General Manager, Planning, Development and Watershed Restoration Services, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority

Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association

Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades AssociationAn association representing 2,400 horticultural company professionals and 20,000 industry contacts. Members include landscape, maintenance and snow management contractors, landscape designers, lawn care operators, garden centre owners, arborists, nursery growers, interior landscapers, and irrigation and landscape lighting contractors.

Representative: Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director, Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association

LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests)

LEAF - Local Enhancement and Appreciation of ForestsAn award-winning, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of urban forests through planting, education and stewardship. LEAF engages more than 10,000 program participants and volunteers across the GTA each year.

Representative: Janet McKay, Founder and Executive Director, LEAF

Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA)

Ontario Association of Landscape ArchitectsAn association representing more than 1,400 landscape architectural professionals at various levels of membership. OALA’s mission is to promote, improve, advance and accredit the profession of landscape architecture by maintaining standards of professional practice and conduct consistent with the need to serve and to protect the public interest.

Representative: Terence Radford, Trophic Design

Ontario Parks Association (OPA)

Ontario Parks AssociationA non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1936 with a membership consisting of professionals and companies working in operations, development, and management of municipal parks and open spaces sector across Ontario.

Representative: Paul Ronan, Executive Director, Ontario Parks Association

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)

Toronto and Region Conservation AuthorityToronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. Working with its partner municipalities and other stakeholders, TRCA serves communities in the Greater Toronto Region by protecting, conserving, and restoring natural resources and developing community resilience through education, the application of science, community engagement, and service excellence.

Representative: Noah Gaetz, Senior manager, Research and Knowledge Management, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Executive and Committees

Steering Committee Chair: Tony DiGiovanni, Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association

Steering Committee Vice Chair: Jo-Anne Rzadki, Conservation Ontario

GIO Staff

Jenn Court headshotJennifer Court is the executive director of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition. As an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of success in the environmental sector, Jennifer brings a breadth of experience in government relations, stakeholder engagement, partnership development and innovation design to her role at GIO.

Prior to joining GIO, Jennifer helped to create and launch Scout Environmental, and then led its not-for-profit arm, growing the business, overseeing the team, and designing award-winning environmental programs. She has over 10 years’ experience in the environmental space, working with diverse clients and partners across Canada, including Health Canada, Environment Canada, Department of Indigenous Services Canada, the City of Toronto, the Automotive Recyclers of Canada, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, Efficiency Nova Scotia, the Kativik Regional Government, the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council and many more. This experience is complemented by her interdisciplinary background in sustainability, research, design and education.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art & Design, as well as a Master of Environmental Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Business & Sustainability from York University.

Ultimately, Jennifer is a problem solver who is driven to make positive change in the world. She is an avid reader, cyclist and crafter; she currently lives in Leslieville with too many books, but just the right number of cats (two).

Michelle Sawka is the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition Program Manager. Michelle is a senior research scientist for the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. In this role she supports municipalities in their green infrastructure and urban forest initiatives. She also manages the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition’s research, advocacy and communications to increase green infrastructure implementation across the province. Her past experience was in a more traditional infrastructure role where she was an urban transportation policy analyst and managed research in support of public transit agencies across Canada.