It is with great sadness that MVCA Directors and staff note the passing of Dr. Jane Bowles on July 27, 2013. Jane was a renown botantist and ecologist at Western University in London.
For over 25 years Jane also worked as an ecological advisor, mentor and friend to the MVCA as well as many other groups and organizations in the Maitland watershed. She was instrumental in leading the MVCA through several groundbreaking projects.
In 1991 Jane developed the methodology, and did much of the field work, for an Ecosystem Health assessment of the Maitland and Nine Mile Watersheds using vegetation patch mapping and landscape ecological criteria for the major sub-basins.
In 2001 she developed the methodology and conducted the field work for the Maitland Valley Woodland Health Assessment. This work culminated in the publication of a report on the health of the woodlands in the Maitland and Nine Mile watersheds. The report helped the MVCA and other agencies and organizations to develop a better understanding of what needs to be done to restore the health and productivity of the forests in the watershed.
In 2002 Jane conducted life science inventories and Ecological Land Classification vegetation mapping of the Lower Maitland Valley from Sharpes Creek Line to Goderich. This work led to the formation of the Lower Maitland Stewardship Group and ultimately to the Nature Conservancy of Canada developing a land acquisition program in the river valley.
Jane also provided peer review expertise to the MVCA to assist us in reviewing development proposals that involved forests and wetlands. She also provided expert witness support for the MVCA at hearings.
Jane volunteered many hours of her time to lead hikes through the Maitland River Valley. She spent countless hours training MVCA staff and Directors and became a mentor to many staff members, passing on her knowledge of natural ecosystems.
Recently she donated a guided a tour of the lower Maitland Valley as an auction item for the Maitland Conservation Foundation's annual fundraising event.
Her passion for the Maitland watershed, her commitment to excellence, her dedication to the field of plant ecology and above all her expertise as an ecologist will be keenly missed by the staff and Directors at the MVCA. We extend our condolences to Jane's family, friends and colleagues.
Jane's family has requested that donations in her memory be directed to the the Thames Talbot Land Trust http://www.thamestalbotlandtrust.ca/ .