Robert Orland
President & Founder
Robert founded Orland Conservation in 2003 as a social enterprise that offers services in land conservation, food security and environmental communications to municipalities, conservation authorities, land trusts and environmental organizations. Acquiring over 25 years of experience in land conservation, Robert began his career as an environmental planner with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and worked in a variety of positions before specializing in land securement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. In 2008, Robert formed Backyard Bounty, an urban farming initiative to promote community-based sustainable urban gardening and organic food production. The program ran for more than five years in Guelph in partnership with landowners, business owners and charitable organizations such as the Guelph Food Bank. A skilled strategist, public speaker and accomplished entrepreneur, Robert has delivered presentations and workshops as an expert on land securement across Canada. Working in partnership with municipalities and government agencies for many years, Robert has facilitated and advised on the protection and creative stewardship of close to 10,000 acres of environmentally significant natural heritage lands and parks in Ontario. Robert is committed to making a sound contribution to the land conservation and sustainability movement in Canada.

Karen Abel, MES
Conservation Specialist & Graphic Designer
Karen has over 10 years of experience in natural heritage conservation and ecology including work with the Ontario Heritage Trust, Walpole Island First Nation Heritage Centre, Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, Royal Ontario Museum, Ontario Streams and Ministry of Natural Resources. She was previously a Natural Heritage Coordinator with the Ontario Heritage Trust where she maintained and monitored a portfolio of over 100 natural heritage lands and nature preserves protected for conservation by the province including Niagara Escarpment lands on the Bruce Trail. She has produced stewardship plans and natural heritage reports for over a dozen Ontario nature reserves protected by land trusts and conservation authorities. Karen’s role includes managing design and communications projects such as producing a series of park maps and educational interpretive signage for the Maple Nature Reserve, Baker’s Woods and Elder’s Mills natural areas in York Region.

Ana de Castro, MASc
Conservation Specialist
Ana has over 10 years of experience working for municipalities in customer support, business analysis and innovation to enhance and develop customer centric service. She worked with Toronto Water to improve resident awareness and understanding of their role in protecting Toronto Water Resources through presentations and workshops. She brings both customer outreach experience and technical skills to the Orland Conservation team.

Kate Potter, BAH Geography
GIS Technician
Kate has more than 10 years of experience in conservation project coordination, public outreach and multi-stakeholder engagement. She previously coordinated over 30 municipal and non-profit stakeholders for the Caring for the Moraine Project with the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation and led development of a watershed stewardship and outreach project with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. She has worked closely with municipalities and conservation authorities to develop conservation land securement strategies and programs throughout Southern Ontario. In 2013 Kate organized a natural heritage land conservation and stewardship workshop with the City of Mississauga for local landowners. Kate is skilled in strategic planning and program assessments, GIS land mapping analysis, landowner outreach and education, and contributing to community-based conservation and sustainability initiatives.

Tom-bio-BB2014-90x90bwThomas Armitage, BSc Agriculture
Food Security Projects Coordinator
Thomas worked with Orland Conservation’s Backyard Bounty program between 2010-2014. Taking on the role of Program Manager in 2012, he coordinated the program each growing season, managing field staff, generating partnerships, delivering educational presentations, facilitating workshops, and organizing the CSA and farmers’ market sales. In 2013, recognizing that food banks have a need for fresh, quality, organic produce, Thomas sought out investors to fund the new Grow Local Sponsorship Program, allowing Backyard Bounty to grow food specifically for the Guelph Food Bank. Thomas has over 5 years of market gardening experience, with four of his five growing seasons spent cultivating and harvesting food within an urban environment. He holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Geography, applying his research skills to enhancing community-based, food-related projects.


Extended Team & Consulting Partners

Bryan McPherson, BSc, MLA, OALA Associate
Parks Planning & Landscape Design Specialist
Bryan has 20 years of experience in landscape assessment and visualization for parklands, Indigenous communities and natural resource management projects. He approaches each assignment through a creative lens – often incorporating elements of story-boarding and design to communicate ideas. Bryan’s work on land use values & parks scenario mapping for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry aided in the expansion of parks & protected areas throughout Ontario. Bryan’s West Coast work included land appraisals, acting as an expert witness at appeal tribunals, and performing land-use planning services for Indigenous communities. Bryan has prepared multi-use-path design plans and active transportation presentations for the City of Guelph. In 2011, Bryan completed a graduate thesis on food security and community food hubs. He is currently working towards accreditation as a Landscape Architect & focuses much of his present-day work on parks planning, planting plans, greenway (corridor) design and on green infrastructure projects.

Contact Us

Robert Orland
President & Founder
123 Grove Street
Guelph, Ontario
N1E 2W8 Canada
Phone 519 829 2281


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