Laura began her involvement with NLT back in 2019 as a volunteer steward for the newly acquired Bonebakker Nature Reserve. Laura was just returning home after completing her Bachelors degree in Environmental Policy and Analysis from Bowling Green State University in Ohio when she felt compelled to make a difference in Ontario. Having always been most concerned about the impacts of land conversion for urban uses, Laura was eager to get involved with land conservation efforts and eventually found NLT. At the same time, Laura decided to go back to school to complete a graduate program in Environmental Planning at Fleming College. This is where Laura’s eyes were opened to the inner workings of Ontario’s land use planning system and where she realized that nature needed a louder seat at the land use planning table. After completing her graduate program at Fleming College, Laura landed her “dream job" with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, first as a Regional Planner and then into a permanent position as a Water Resources Policy Analyst. After a few years, Laura saw the need for land conservation increase dramatically in Ontario but didn’t feel like she was making enough of a difference in her role at MNRF. Taking a leap of faith, Laura left the Ontario Public Service in June of 2022 for a summer position as a Watershed Monitoring Technician with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority where she finally got to live out her dream of doing field work such as surface water sampling and electrofishing. Inspired by the passion of those dedicating their lives to conservation, Laura knew she made the right decision. In the fall of 2022, Laura was hired by the NLT as the Stewardship and Operations Coordinator, a position Laura can now confidently say is her dream job. Laura sees this position as more than just a job; it’s an opportunity to create meaningful change that will last for generations to come.
Laura now lives with her husband and dog-child Penelope in Marmora where they are fixing up an old farmhouse. In her free time, Laura likes to keep busy whether that is outdoors in her vegetable garden, hiking, fishing or some sort of DIY project or indoors where she enjoys cooking and baking, preserving food, finding sustainable, non-toxic swaps for household products and processes or yet another DIY project. She is inspired by the traditional slow-living homesteading lifestyle; mostly as a result of her strong and influential relationship with her grandparents who grew up in the Italian countryside where they built, raised, grew or made everything they needed. Laura has seen first-hand how this lifestyle, although challenging at times, leads to a fulfilling intentional life characterized by family, friends, love, and hard work. Laura’s intention is to ensure everything she does, at work and at home, leaves her slice of the earth a little bit better than it was before and to inspire others to do the same. Laura wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for the unwavering support and encouragement of her parents and her siblings.