Volunteer Spotlight: Kaitlin Richardson

You may know Kaitlin Richardson as Thames Talbot Land Trust’s current President, but she is, and has been, a part of many environmental organizations in London, ON and surrounding areas in several capacities. Holding Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Environmental Science, as well as diplomas in Ecological Restoration and Rehabilitation and Environmental Assessment, Kaitlin strives to protect, steward, and restore nature for Ontario’s biodiversity and Species at Risk. Her passion has led to many years of experience within the environmental non-profit sector. In the past, she was the Stewardship Coordinator at TTLT, Project Manager at ReForest London, and an Urban Forestry technician at the City of London. She is currently a Conservation Biologist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and as well as being TTLT’s President, serves as chair of TTLT’s Property Management Committee (PMC), a committee that she has volunteered with for many years. Her passion for the environment also spills over into her spare time. “I’m often tending to my native plant garden, volunteering for environmental organizations, and taking long hikes to admire the local plants, birds, and turtles.”

She first dipped her toes into the world of TTLT in 2015 through the Stewardship Coordinator position. “I loved the properties so much that I stuck around on the Property Management Committee, which turned into Board involvement, so here I am!” She was drawn to TTLT’s mission and wanted to make a difference for conservation in the area where she grew up. “I want to do everything I can to help!” And help she has. With TTLT alone, Kaitlin has volunteered on several committees (e.g. Land Securement, Property Management, Passport to Nature), participated at a variety of stewardship volunteer events and programs, been a part of several workshops and behind the scenes during webinars, raised funds through winter walk, BioBlitz, and campaign fundraisers, as well as being an active donor and TTLT member. “I have met some amazing people through TTLT and have made some great friends. TTLT is full of passionate, inspiring people and it’s a privilege to work with them.”

It is Kaitlin’s hope that in the future, conservation work will be recognized for how important it truly is, not only for nature but for humans as well. “It was eye-opening for many at the start of the pandemic just how important natural spaces are to our well-being, as office after office closed down and folks craved the distraction offered by escaping into the woods. This pandemic has restored that connection to nature for many people. I hope that it will get easier and easier for conservation professionals to work with landowners on stewardship and options to protect their own lands for future generations. The only way we can make a real difference is if we work together.”

1st Photo Courtesy of Kaitlin Richardson

2nd Photo by Daria Koscinski