American Friends’ Leaders Lauded in Ontario

Three individuals who have shaped cross-border conservation were recognized with awards by the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA). Current director Allyn Abbott and long-serving former director Christopher Baines were honored with the Angus McLeod Vision Award for volunteer service. Sandra Tassel, a former director and officer, who now serves as American Friends’ Program Coordinator, received the OLTA Vision Award for a land trust professional.

L to R, Alison Howson, Executive Director of Ontario Land Trust Alliance with award winners Sandra Tassel, Allyn Abbott and Christopher Baines (all associated with American Friends) and Shining Waters from RARE.

From OLTA’s website:

There were two recipients for the Angus McLeod Vision Award: Allyn Abbott and Christopher Baines.

“Allyn Abbott has been dedicated to the land trust movement for more than 14 years. She joined the board of Muskoka Heritage Trust in 2004. She lead the merger that formed the Muskoka Conservancy as its president and remains on the board and serves as chair of the Land Acquisition and Management Committee. Allyn willingly shares her knowledge to any staff and directors.”

Christopher Baines has been a “force of nature” and a “force for nature” within Ontario’s land trust community for over twenty-five years. He has been a triple-threat – or perhaps, more accurately, a triple advocate – for the land trust community, active at the local, provincial and international levels in a wide variety of capacities.

There was one recipient of the OLTA Vision award – Sandra Tassel.

Sandra Tassel serves as Program Coordinator for American Friends, applying nearly 30 years’ experience in conservation acquisitions in the U.S. and Canada. Through Sandy’s careful stewardship, American Friends has been the leading pioneer for cross-border conservation in Canada. In working with OLTA, its member organizations and collaborators, Sandy has been a creative, supportive and strategic ally and knowledgeable resource for Ontario’s land trust community.”