CONSERVATION AREAS SUPERINTENDENT
CONSERVATIONIST, CANOEIST, SMALL-TOWN FAN
Yasmine grew up in Caledon and always wanted to work outside. She got her wish, and we’re all the better for it. And yes, the mud was a prop, a reference to her fearless face plant in a muddy obstacle course.
A conservationist with mud on her: you really live your job.
Ah, yes, the mud event. Let’s just say that I got the idea from a certain party I attended and we all decided to do it… but then we actually stuck to our guns. It was definitely a physical and mental challenge.
And when you’re not face-planting in mud?
I manage two conservation areas, and try to keep them as natural and native as possible for people to enjoy. One of them is Ken Whillans on highway 10, the lake’s got largemouth bass, trout, pike.
So you’re a small-town person?
Oh yes. If I’m driving in the city, it gets my blood pressure up! But once I start getting into Caledon… that’s when I start to see things, notice things. Look at how the wind has gotten into that tree, it’s still alive, it hasn’t blown over… it’s just conforming to the pressure it has.
Well said. The areas are really growing in popularity here, aren’t they?
Absolutely. It’s gas prices, lifestyle – people don’t want to drive 10 hours to go camping anymore, but in Orangeville we’re so close to the GTA and we’ve been getting busier every year. Just a few minutes away from a thriving town, you can connect with nature. No houses, no cars, no outside noise. You can hear the waterfowl splashing, you don’t have to think about that bill to pay, because they don’t care either.
And we have a lot of new Canadians, and they’re getting in canoes for the first time… I take things like that for granted. I’ve been paddling for a long time, but seeing someone who’s never gone canoeing before, it’s really eye-opening. It’s pretty neat.