Board of Directors

Front row: Michael Dunn, Adrienne Brown, Helen O’Brian, Deb Foote, Margaret Cornish (retired), Malcolm Inglis Back row: Robert Percival, Robin Walsh, Peter Robinson, Jennifer Iredale. Absent – Meg Iredale.

Adrienne Brown – President

Adrienne Brown is a Landscape Architect, garden designer and Mayne Island resident who believes in the importance of reconciling the biophysical aspects of a site with programming that addresses social and cultural requirements. The climate crisis has prompted her to better understand changes already occurring in the distribution of plant species in BC and threats to the quality of our soils.  Adrienne’s goal as a Director with the Mayne Island Conservancy is to help strengthen the human community, establish respect for and reciprocity with the natural world in all its glorious complexity, and to take advantage of the unprecedented number of opportunities for societal change we see today.

Malcolm Inglis – Past President and Secretary

A long-time visitor to Mayne Island, Malcolm retired here in 2010 from a long and varied career in information technology, having worked in the private sector and at all levels of government. On Mayne, Malcolm gets to indulge his love of the natural world by working on restoring the natural state of his own property as well as helping out with the Conservancy’s restoration and invasive-species removal projects. He also coordinates the production of the Conservancy’s annual newsletter.

Peter Robinson – Vice President

Peter Robinson and his wife Kristine Webber own Hedgerow Farm, where they are combining sustainable agriculture and restorative land stewardship in their vision for the property. Prior to moving to Mayne Island, Peter led the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) through a decade of work focused on climate change and sustainability. Before his work with DSF, he was the CEO of both Mountain Equipment Co-op (when it was still a co-op!), and BC Housing. He began his career as a park ranger, during which he was decorated for bravery by the Governor General of Canada. Peter has a long history of humanitarian work, including monitoring prisons with the International Red Cross in Rwanda. He holds a Doctor of Social Sciences and a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management.

Helen O’Brian – Fundraising Chair

Helen has lived on Mayne Island since 1998, a steward of one of the original Japanese farms and has been a director of MICS since year one. She has a MA in Children’s Literature, co-founded the Vancouver Storytelling Society and is the author of Fin’s Swim, a book about the Fraser River. Helen believes that through land conservation, mindful stewardship and education our planet will be a healthier place for all the life it supports.

Rob Percival – Treasurer

Rob and his family have been enjoying coming to Mayne for many years to the “cabin” as part-time residents, and in 2019 he and his wife Ivana moved full time to the island.

Rob has for over 26 years been working in providing accounting software solutions to a diverse client base in construction, retail, manufacturing, and warehouse distribution industries. With a degree in Computer Business System and Finance, Rob is now working with the Conservancy team and for the island.

Rob enjoys his daily morning walks with his dog “Bernie” around Georgina Point and the natural beauty of Mayne – its forests, beaches, and plant and animal life. The preservation of this natural world for future generations to see and experience is why Rob joined the Conservancy.

Deb Foote – Program Chair

Deb came to Mayne Island in 2007, initially as part-time seasonal resident. It was not long before island life got the better of her and she became a part-time Surrey resident, focusing her time on Mayne Island based initiatives.

Deb’s passion for community and for the health of the environment, made her a natural fit for the Conservancy Board of Directors, currently serving as Chair of the Programs Committee, and Secretary of the Governance Committee.

Coming from a background in the Distribution and Retail Organic Food Sectors, Deb has brought with her a diversity of skills and a willingness to apply them where they best fit.

Jennifer Iredale – Indigenous Relations Chair

As a guest on Straits Salish territory I am grateful to the W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations for their generosity in sharing this beautiful place. Jennifer has a multi-generational connection to Mayne Island /SḴŦAḴ, sharing the family property at Campbell Bay since childhood and raising her children (along with sheep, horses, and a donkey) on the family farm. 

Jennifer’s career is as a heritage professional, curator and former Director of the provincial Heritage Branch where she worked on provincial, national, and local heritage initiatives. Currently Jennifer sits on the Board of Heritage BC and is involved in heritage and cultural projects in Victoria,  Mayne Island, and the Fraser Canyon and sits on the Campbell Bay Music Festival Society Board. Recent projects include curatorial work at the Mayne Island Museum and fundraising for the Ag Society Heritage Revitalization Initiative. Jennifer is interested in strengthening relationships with Indigenous people and organizations and exploring the intersection between Indigenous and Western knowledge around environmental conservation, land stewardship, and caring for the natural and human environment.

Robin Walsh – Communications & Membership Chair

In 2020 Robin moved to Mayne from Ottawa where he held senior positions in public relations at Oxfam Canada, on Parliament Hill, and with several national business associations. Prior to retiring he taught public relations for five years at Algonquin College in Ottawa. He has a degree in Political Science from York University and a graduate diploma in International Relations from the University of Ottawa.

Robin has been a supporter of nature organizations at the national level and is an active volunteer with the Conservancy. His interest in the Conservancy is to be involved in helping conserve our local environment and to engage our community in supporting this work.

His passion for nature means that you are likely to find Robin hiking, cycling, or bird watching somewhere on Mayne. He and his partner Michael are also keen gardeners and have added many native plants from the Conservancy nursery to their garden.

Meg Iredale – Director at large

Meg Iredale grew up on SḴŦAḴ / Mayne Island on her family’s farm in Campbell Bay. In her teens she left to pursue interests in the larger world, but continued to spend time on the island whenever possible. She moved back in her mid twenties, and has been home full time for over a decade now. Long enough to witness drastic changes in the ecosystem around her, and foster a passion for ongoing stewardship of the land. 

Meg is co-founder of the non-profit The Campbell Bay Music Festival, and continues to work for the organization as Festival Site Director.  She works as an arborist and builder, and spends her off-time helping organize community events, caring for her families land, and adventuring with her dog Nina.

Conservancy Staff

Michael Dunn – Executive Director (Volunteer)

Michael worked for 30+ years for Environment Canada, retiring in 2007. His experience was varied ranging from coastal mapping to wildlife habitat conservation. As a life-long learner and avid naturalist, he has been engaged in learning about and communicating the wonder and lessons of nature for over 40 years.Michael had been president of the Conservancy up to the beginning of April 2013 but has now undertaken the hands-on direction of the Society’s activities and will answer emails addressed to ed@mayneconservancy.ca

Rob Underhill BSc RPBio – Biologist

Rob joined the conservancy in September 2011. His previous work experience is varied and includes work in hospitality, landscaping, forestry, and resource conservation. Rob has an educational background in tourism, horticulture, and botany. He completed a certificate of Travel and Tourism at Kwantlen University in 2002, a certificate in Landscape Horticulture at Capilano University in 2004, and a BSc in Biology at the University of Victoria in 2010. Before coming to Mayne Island, Rob managed an ecosystem restoration project for Parks Canada at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. He can trace his love of plants and nature to family vacations on Pender Island, and entering a plant collection in the Pender Island Fall fair when he was nine, in which he placed 2nd due to an incorrect spelling of “Arbutes menziesii”. Contact Rob at biologist@mayneconservancy.ca

Justine Apostolopoulos – Stewardship Coordinator

Since she was a 7 year old, feigning illness to stay home from school and bird watch, Justine has fostered her love of the natural world through writing, photography, music and community engagement. Justine has always been drawn to the natural beauty of the Southern Gulf Islands, moving from Vancouver to SḴŦAḴ/Mayne Island in 2017. She is inspired by the encouraging spirit of the community here and has since volunteered/worked in environmental stewardship, heritage, performing arts, customer service, childcare, agriculture and community development. She is currently the president of the Mayne Island Little Theatre, a Creative Writing major at the University of Victoria, and is excited to bring together arts and sciences within the Stewardship Coordinator position. For information about youth education programs, contact stewardship@mayneconservancy.ca.


4 Comments

Dell · January 19, 2023 at 7:09 pm

I would like to suggest that the Conservancy approach the Mayneliner to see if the cover of an upcoming edition could post a picture of the invasive daphne that seems to be flourishing unchecked virtually everywhere on Mayne. Perhaps with a large print title of extremely Invasive. I don’t believe many people understand that it’s an invasive species, thinking it’s just a very pretty evergreen plant. It’s amazing how prolific it is!

    Rob Underhill · January 23, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Dell, thanks for the suggestion. Yes, daphne is an invasive plant that has spread widely on Mayne over the past 50-60 years. As a bird-dispersed species it is very challenging to manage effectively. Though people may have success managing it with persistent effort in specific places, and the Mayne Conservancy actively removes it from public parks, it’s hard to see a realistic path to eradicating it from Mayne.

Marg Fletcher · September 30, 2023 at 5:29 pm

I’d love to know what the conservancy recommends be done with poisonous Daphne once it’s removed. We have been removing some for a few years, not winning yet, and the key issue is what to do with it after it’s out of the ground. I know it’s not safe to burn it, I don’t know that it would be ok to take garbage bags of it to the dump, so I have been saving bags until I learn what is appropriate. (When I googled this question I discovered “dispose of it appropriately” … great idea but way too vague for me!)

    Rob Underhill · October 3, 2023 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Marg, great question. My recommendation is to compost it in a separate pile from any compost you plan on using to promote plant growth. As a bird-dispersed species you will need to manage annually to prevent it from coming back, and you can keep adding the same pile year after year. Daphne breaks down very quickly.

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