Ben Porchuk to speak at April meeting
The club is delighted to welcome Ben Porchuk as our guest speaker at our April meeting on Wednesday April 28.
Ben will speak about local natural history, including suitable tree and shrub species, in addition to ecological aspects of the Carolinian Zone in general. He will also talk about his recent efforts in creating what he has defined a ‘Nature Sense Ground (NSG):’ an NSG is a small-scale habitat restoration and natural play area creation which combines several key foundational overarching principles of cultural and environmental repair, while providing inherent selfcare afforded by the forest therapeutic-influenced design.
Ben Porchuk became Canada’s first certified forest therapy guide in 2015. By 2016, he was a trainer and in 2018, he co-founded the non-profit organization, GIFT – the Global Institute of Forest Therapy (www.giftoftheforest.com). Prior to founding GIFT, Ben had over two decades of experience as a wildlife researcher, non-profit management, environmental consulting, and sustainable living. Before the recent era of rapid renewable energy expansion, Ben gained expertise on living off grid when he consulted the World Wildlife Fund, establishing the Wilds of Pelee Island, an Outdoor Centre for Conservation. There, he lived remotely off the grid for over a decade with solar panels, a wind turbine, composting toilets, and a rainwater collection system. For several years, Ben facilitated Traditional Medicinal Native Plant Inventories with Indigenous North American Elders. Now living in a densely populated area of London, Ontario, Canada, his property consists of over 200 species of native plants, including a wetland, all visited by many species of wildlife, seldom observed in the downtown of a city. Having effectively created a model for urban ecological recovery, Ben combines forest therapy and ecological restoration, with his passion and unique style of assimilating nature connection and natural history knowledge.