Mélanie created the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library to foster Indigenous reconciliation, address climate change and empower women through the collecting, sharing and growing of native plants.
Her vision is to create a grassroots movement that is reused around the world so that humans responsibly fulfill their stewardship role in nature through education and sharing seeds for free. Mélanie is the 2023 recipient of the Ecology Ottawa Active & Accessible City Award, given to a member of your community that works to improve urban quality of life and inspires you and your community to advocate for an accessible, sustainable, livable, Ottawa.
Mélanie has a Master's in Political Science from Université Laval, a Master's of Business Administration from University of Ottawa and a Bachelor's Degree, Joint Honours, in International Relations and International Development Studies from the University of New Brunswick.
She worked for the federal government for Natural Resources Canada and Library and Archives Canada in policy, programming and communications on various issues. She also has experience working with Indigenous communities.
Her current job is Manager, Strategic and Operational Planning at Engineers Canada where she is responsible for consultations, risk management, planning and reporting. She was previously Manager, Qualifications, in the same organization, where she developed national guidelines to foster harmonization across provincial and territorial engineering regulators. She lives with her husband and two standard poodles.
Kristina hopes to inspire people to plant native species because they *are* beautiful, as well as ecologically significant and culturally meaningful. Her passion is grounded in the art and science of environmentally sensitive living. She is an Environmental Advisor, Jewelry Designer working with sea glass, and an Artist.
Her background is in environmental science with over 20 years of experience across the private sector, government, green building, and urban garden design. She has a Master’s of Science from the University of Guelph’s Department of Land Resource Science in soil and water chemistry; and, a Bachelor’s of Environmental Science with an Area of Emphasis in Risk Assessment and Management also from the University of Guelph.
She lives in Alta Vista with her family. Most days she can be found in her garden, certified as Wildlife Friendly Habitat by the Canadian Wildlife Federation in 2021. The landscaping features native plants, shrubs and mature trees; conserves and retains rain water; and, maximizes growing space for edible and medicinal plants. Painting, sewing, knitting, stained glass, preserving food, kitchen experiments, and rescuing street furniture are a few of the other things that she might be doing. Green is her favorite color.
Erin has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years, in both culture and health. She worked as an independent bookkeeper for 5 years. She has held positions in small- and mid-sized charities as Director of Finance and Finance Manager, and has also held volunteer Treasurer positions.
She is educated with the Certified General Accountants of Ontario, has a diploma in Museum Management and Curatorship, and has an undergraduate degree in Geography. She has managed substantial organizational transitions and financial challenges, including charitable registration, COVID-19, natural disasters and structural deficits.
Having been involved in both local and international charitable organizations, she looks forward to making a difference at the local level with the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library. While her native garden is still being established, she views her growing relationship with the plants and the local environment as a source of hope. She is a lover of plants, a mother, a sailor and a world traveler.
Barb is an avid native plant gardener and advocate for restorative ecological practices. She sees the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library as a positive force for change through the power of giving and participatory action.
She dreams of restoring gifting relations with the more than human world, fostering a spiritual connection with place and reconciliation with the original inhabitants of the land.
Barb is passionate about knowledge mobilization and enjoys translating scientific findings into accessible and enjoyable formats. She has earned PhDs in sustainability and comparative ethics. Her research focuses on how people develop values and what prompts environmental behaviour. She is the author of books and articles on environmental ethics, new religious movements, and unconscious motivations of climate change.
Barb has volunteered with various environmental non-profits and charitable organizations at the local and national scale, serving as editor, workshop developer, conference co-ordinator, and president. She lives and works in downtown Ottawa, unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin, with her family.
Emily Akikodjiwan Brascoupe-Hoefler is a mixed media artist and educator who creates pieces of art inspired by her family, community teachings and her experiences on the land. Emily is greatly influenced by plant knowledge shared by her family and is reclaiming lost art practices and traditions to weave new cultural understanding and healing into her work.
Emily has a vision of promoting First Nation culture and increasing representation in the public space. When Emily is not creating, she may be working as a policy analyst. Emily loves gardening and appreciates learning more about native species and their traditional uses.
Emily lives in unceeded, unsurrendered Anishinabe territory with her husband and three children. She is a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and has Anishinabe, Haudenosaunee, and Irish ancestors.
Jennifer is a Policy Analyst in the federal government and is currently working in the International Affairs Bureau at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Previously, she worked as program lead for climate change mitigation projects at ECCC, and international development at Global Affairs Canada. She has 5 years of experience in the non-profit sector, where she served on the Board of the Ottawa Biosphere Eco-City.
Jennifer is an enthusiastic beginner gardener who is learning to grow and steward native plants and their seeds. She is passionate about improving awareness of and access to native plants in our community. Jennifer has lived in the national capital region since 2018 and is currently living in Aylmer, Gatineau.
Jennifer holds a Master's in International Affairs from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Health Sciences from Western University.
Margaret Unger has a Bachelor of Computer Science from Carleton University and pursued further studies at the University of Iceland. She lived for 20 years in Iceland and considers it her other home, continuing to work there remotely for fintech company Five Degrees. Margaret returned to Canada just before the pandemic to assist her aging parents.
Taking up gardening during lockdown, Margaret found she really enjoyed it and was able to combine her love of nature by gardening with native plants. Additionally, she reads, knits, and is an avid volleyball and beach volleyball player. She lives in Nepean with her partner and two cats.
Shelley has worked in communications for over a decade, in government, charity, and association environments. Currently, she is Assistant Manager, Communications, at Engineers Canada, where she leads a team of Communication Specialists in providing strategic communications support to advance the organization’s work. She holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts, Combined Honours, in Communications and Political Science from Carleton University.
A lifelong resident of Ottawa, Shelley lives in Ottawa’s west end with her mini schnauzer Abby. Shelley loves to garden, and has been inspired by the Ottawa Wildflower Seed Library to learn more about native plants and seeds. In the summers, Shelley can often be found in her backyard vegetable garden, and in the early fall, she can be found in the kitchen, trying to can, freeze, and eat everything the garden produced. She also enjoys cooking and baking, knitting, crocheting, and painting, and never shies away from taking on a new craft project.