About Northumberland Land Trust


Preserve the natural, historical and cultural heritage of Northumberland County.

Our mandate is to establish, maintain and manage protected areas.

Board of Directors

Founded October, 2004, the Northumberland Land Trust operates under the direction of a volunteer board of directors, drawn from across the County.
The members of the current (2014) Board of Directors are:

President John Geale president@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Past President Joan Chalovich  
First Vice President Vacant vice-president@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Second Vice President Vacant  
Secretary Whitney Lake secretary@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Treasurer Joan Chalovich treasurer@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Director George Gordon  
Director Janette Johnston membership@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Director Jim McGrath  
Director Bill Newell  
Director Bill Crowley  


Stewardship Team  
Leader Bill Newell stewardship@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
  Pelton Steward Russell Lake pelton@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
McEwen Steward John Geale mcewen@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Leckey Steward Bill Newell leckey@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Kawartha-Pine Ridge School Board Representative Mark Rupke lloec@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Governance Team
  Leader Vacant governance@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Finance Team 
  Leader Vacant finance@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Fundraising Team  
  Leader George Gordon fundraising@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Marketing Team
  Leader Vacant marketing@northumberlandlandtrust.ca
Property Acquisition Team
  Leader Vacant acquisitions@northumberlandlandtrust.ca

Board Member Profiles

Joan Chalovich, Treasurer

Joan was raised in Haldimand Township, Northumberland County. Joan and her husband George have two adult children, Karen and Brian, grandson Forrest, and grand-daughters Camryn & Bria. They enjoy hobbies such as gardening, antique vehicles, arts and culture, sports, and their Aruba time-share residence.

She attended Cobourg Collegiate West and obtained a Special Commercial Diploma. Following that Joan became Legal Secretary to Harvey M. Brent, LL.B., Q.C., of Cobourg from 1955 to 1978. Then she became Owner/Manager of Gardiner Investment Service in Cobourg from 1978 to 1996. Joan is a founding member of the Canadian Independent Deposit Brokers Federation and was recognized in the American "Kaleo" publication of "Who's Who amongst business executives.

Joan has been recognized for her volunteer service in many ways. She has received the Distinguished Civic Award from the Town of Cobourg, a Paul Harris Fellow from the Cobourg Rotary Club, the Ontario Volunteer Award and she is a Canadian Citizenship Centennial Medallion recipient. She continues her volunteer efforts as the President of the Cobourg Museum Foundation/Sifton-Cook Heritage Centre, a Director and Past President of the Northumberland Orchestra Society, the Past Chair and Sec-Treas. of the Halcyon Place Northumberland Supportive Housing Corporation, a member of the Cobourg Rotary Club and the Grafton Branch, Royal Canadian Legion.

Joan has worked tirelessly for her faith. She is Past Chair of the Cobourg Presbytery and is a Member of the Pastoral Relations Commission, Hills and Shores Presbytery, United Church of Canada as well as Board Secretary for the Castleton-Grafton Church Council and Grafton United Church.

Her political life includes terms as a member of Cobourg Council from 1988 to l994, and Mayor of Cobourg from 1995 to 2000. In addition, she was County of Northumberland Warden in 1992.

For the Northumberland Land Trust, Joan is a member of the founding Board of Directors and has remained a Director ever since. She filled the role of Treasurer for many years. She was then President and is now the immediate Past-president while returning to the role of Treasurer.

Bill Crowley, Speaker Series Team


John Geale, President

John joined the Land Trust Board in about 2008 after spending three years in New Zealand following his retirement from Trinity College School. At Trinity he taught mathematics, science and geography, and coached cross-country running and Nordic skiing.

His years from 1965 to 2002 at Trinity were broken up regularly by a return to the University of Toronto to complete a B.Sc. in biology, five months spent as a scuba-diving biological research assistant in the high arctic, a winter ski-bumming in the Kananaskis Valley in Alberta, a summer working as a cowboy on an Alberta foothills ranch, a year teaching in Whitehorse, a sabbatical spent studying mathematics and biology at the University of Guelph, and a year on exchange to Australia. While teaching, he also spent many summers in the Canadian arctic working for the National Museum of Natural History and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

In retirement, John is an active birder. He helps with local Christmas and summer bird counts, conducts marsh surveys for birds and amphibians, and surveys eight lakes by canoe each summer to collect data on Common Loon breeding success. He has also visited over 40 countries on birding trips. When not birding, his interests include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, camping, badminton, electoral reform and keeping his firewood pile ready for next winter.

John's wife, Dorothy, is a veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Their son lived in Cusco, Peru for 10 years, and guides birding tours in many South American countries. Their daughter is currently teaching mathematics, science and physical education in Vancouver.

All of his travels and love of outdoor activities have convinced John that increasing human population will continue to put pressure on natural spaces. He believes that the only way to protect such spaces so that our great-grandchildren's great-grandchildren will be able to enjoy them is through preservation by land trusts and similar organizations. He is therefore an avid supporter of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and is proud to serve on the Board of the Northumberland Land Trust, where he is now President. His responsibilities on the Board include regular e-mail communication with members, organizing the Wallace Birdathon, producing the quarterly newsletter, and acting as the Steward for the McEwen Reserve. He is grateful to all of our local supporters and encourages each of our members to persuade one more friend or family member to join us in our work to preserve significant natural, cultural and historical features of Northumberland County.

George Gordon, Fundraising Team


Janette Johnston, Membership Team


Whitney Lake, Secretary

An interest in the natural world, particularly the relationships that exist between all living things has drawn me to the Northumberland Land Trust to help establish and protect natural spaces within Northumberland County. A local beekeeper with a keen interest in permaculture I believe in a world where we can sustainably co-exist with all things on this land.

Jim McGrath, Governance Team


Bill Newell, Stewardship Team


Northumberland Land Trust Board Meetings are open to the public. They are on the third Monday of each month at 7.00p.m. at a private facility. Please call ahead (905-342-3851) to confirm that you will be attending and get directions.

Contact Us

The Trust can be reached at:

Northumberland Land Trust,
Box 1153
Cobourg, ON, K9A 5A4
Phone: 905-342-3851