The Juan de Fuca Community Land Trust Society was established to acquire environmentally important properties on southwestern Vancouver Island for public enjoyment and habitat preservation. For more information, download and read our constitution (pdf) and bylaws (pdf).
The society's board consists of Anne Bell, Jay Evans, James Gaston, Sid Jorna, Margot Swinburnson and Kate Woods. The society's founding directors also include Arnie Campbell, Denyse Koo and Heather Phillips.
Retired from a career in the Royal Canadian Navy and industry in 2003, Sid Jorna settled in Otter Point with his wife Rosemary. As a team they and some like minded citizens started the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society of which Sid is the president. Sid is also a member of the Otter Point Advisory Planning Commission and Commissioner of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. He has served on the Sooke Electoral Area Parks and Recreation Commission and on the Citizens Committee for the review of the Otter Point Official Community Plan. Sid is a founding member of the Juan de Fuca Community Land Trust Society and serves as its registrar.
Anne Bell has lived in the Otter Point District for 22 years, and has lived in the Western Communities her entire life. Recently retired from School District 62 after being employed for thirty-nine years, Anne has been persuaded to come out of retirement to act as the Community School Coordinator at Edward Milne Community School. Anne is very active in the equine world, riding extensively in the back country of Vancouver Island. She has served as the President of the Garden City Horsemen's Club for over 12 years. She is also a member of the Juan de Fuca Trails Society. Anne brings a wealth of practical experience to this position, having served on committees, executives and trusts prior to, and all of her working years.
Margot Swinburnson has been a resident of Otter Point for over 20 years. She was a founding member of SPLASH, the Sooke-based lobby group that successfully advocated for a swimming pool in Sooke.
Margot has been a School Trustee since 1999 and represents School District 62 (SD 62) as a Provincial Councilor and is the BC School Trustees Association representative on the National Healthy Schools Committee. As well, in 2012 she began to serve as the SD 62 representative on the BC School Centered Mental Health Coalition. She is a strong advocate for healthier, more resilient schools and communities as a way to encourage success for each child.
A Registered Nurse, Margot is a Case Manager for Vancouver Island Health Authority. She has had a varied career in Psychiatry, Aboriginal Health and Community Health before moving to her present position in Home and Community Care.
Margot and her husband own a 10-acre farm where they raise chickens for sale, and she pursues her passion of horsebackriding.
Jay lives on a 100-year-old farm in Shirley and spends a lot of time in the local forests, parks and on local beaches. He works in Victoria as a project manager for the BC Ministry of Health, evaluating clinical need for the capital development of acute care facilities across BC, working with health authorities and Treasury Board to determine need and recommendations for facility planning. He has a professional background in program evaluation, survey design and research.
James Gaston has been a resident of Otter Point for two years. He has fifteen years' experience as a silicon valley software engineer and engineering manager. He is also a credentialed teacher with six years experience teaching AP Chemistry and serving as science department chair. James' education includes degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science, an MBA, and graduate research in Biochemistry. James develops websites for local non-profits and is an avid photographer and hiker.
Kate Woods is a long-time resident of Otter Point. She is a successful artist, working in wood and soapstone. Kate teaches her art for income but also as a volunteer mentor at Sooke Fall Fair, Sooke Fine Arts, and at the Scouts Jamboree this July. In 2009, she had published "Ferrets Underfoot", an account of her adventures with ferrets as pets. Kate was a founding member of the V.I. Woodworkers Guild and served on the board both of that organization and of the V. I. Sculptors Guild and the Sooke Community Choir. She organized exhibitions for VIWG, VISG, and the Muir Creek Protection Society. Kate was a founding director of the MCPS and is an avid hiker. It seems a natural step for her to join the Juan de Fuca Community Land Trust Society board to continue working to conserve green space in our area.
Arnie Campbell has been a property owner in Otter Point since 1982 and lives on a rural acreage with a wood lot. Now retired, he worked as a social worker, college administrator and social services instructor and has always been active in his community. His previous volunteer activities included:
He is presently:
Larger forested areas are rapidly disappearing in Otter Point. Arnie feels that we need to retain a publicly accessable forested area as this generation's legacy for the future.
Denyse Koo's life-long focus has been on children and families. She has worked as Child and Family Counsellor, Certified Child Life Specialist, and Director of Family Programs. She is also a Certified Human Resource Professional.
Denyse's volunteer experience includes the Help Fill A Dream Foundation, JDF Search and Rescue, Red Cross Disaster Management Team, and Scouts Canada. Denyse enjoys camping, horseback riding, canoeing, and photography. She believes the Admiral’s Forest should be developed as a place for community recreation and youth education.
An Edward Milne graduate and long-time resident of the Sooke area, Heather has been involved in community activities since returning from travels with a husband and two daughters in 1981. She has been on the Anglican Church committee and has been an executive member and active volunteer with parent advisory committees and Sooke community organizations as their daughters progressed through school. Her career as a community activist began with the cooperative Sooke Preschool Association. Heather has also volunteered with the Sooke Family Resource Society, Fall Fair Society, Transition House Society and the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society. She served on the Sooke social planning council and on the Otter Point Advisory Planning Commission. She has been the Otter Point representative on the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee since 2008.
As a founding member of the Juan de Fuca Community Land Trust Society, Heather invites you to join in providing public green spaces for the benefit of our community.