The Natural Burial Association was formed by a team wanting to address the disconnect between our values and our options when we die. We are a volunteer-run nonprofit, motivated to help communities across Ontario advocate for and create a sanctuary in nature for those living and dead.
Kim Bilous, Aurora
Kim is a life-long environmental advocate and enthusiastic and successful fundraiser. She has worked to achieve the goals of not-for-profit organizations and their supporters, including full time for WWF-Canada and Pickering College, and for many others during her time as a development and communications consultant. She is now living in Singapore and volunteering extensively, and continues to be engaged in various charitable and eco-entrepreneurial initiatives in Canada.
My favourite places are southern Ontario's rich (and threatened) wetland ecosystems. I love a swamp!
Michael de Pencier, Toronto
Michael was founder and chairman of Key Publishers which published Toronto Life, Canadian Geographic, Canadian Business, Owl and Chickadee. He is also co-founder and director Investeco Capital, one of Canada’s first environmental investment companies. Honoured with the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, he continues to find ways to improve the planet, including co-founding the Highway of Heros Tribute, an initiative to plant 2 million trees in honour of Canadians who died or served in our wars.
My favourite place in Ontario is a small bay off Georgian Bay, but I’m not telling where it is.
Susan Greer, Toronto
For the past decade, Susan has put her communication skills to work at Gravity Inc., a graphic design company that supports not-for-profits organizations. Yet it is her concern for the lack of options at the time of death that led her to the Natural Burial Association. As someone who loves nature, Susan is passionate about creating an expansive, gorgeous natural cemetery in Ontario. She is also a Funeral Celebrant, and creates personalized funerals for families who would like a meaningful ceremony but are not sure where to turn.
My favourite place in Ontario is the meandering creek that runs between White Trout and McIntosh Lake in Algonquin Park.
David Love, King City
David has been raising money for 50 years and currently helps environmental and social justice organizations create legacy programs. For 20 years, David worked for WWF-Canada where he helped establish their successful legacy program. He also works at his daughter’s direct response company, Agents of Good, where he is affectionately known as “The Godfather of Good.”
My favourite place in Ontario is The Love Mountain Nature Reserve in The Happy Valley Forest.
Janet McCausland, Toronto
Janet McCausland is Head of Programs at Prince’s Trust Canada, overseeing initiatives including veteran entrepreneurship and youth employability. Previously, Janet offered strategic communications and project management to companies in the environmental sector and was the founding Executive Director of the Natural Burial Association. She began her career in corporate communications.
My favourite place in Ontario is the Bruce Trail, a footpath that runs from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory.
Mark Richardson, Niagara Falls
Mark Richardson is the Manager of Cemetery Services for the City of Niagara Falls. In this capacity, he has honed his management skill set while working with Cemetery Services Staff in administering, operating and maintaining twenty-one cemeteries. At the same time, Mark has continued to blend his passion for the environment, history and community through participation in environmental initiatives and community driven projects including the development of Willow’s Rest, the Niagara Region’s first large green burial section.
My favourite place in Ontario is “back country” Algonquin Provincial Park as it has often served as a place to escape into the natural environment to reconnect and reflect.
Our amazing volunteers
Samir oversees our social media accounts. Originally from Edmonton, in 2019 he graduated from the Knowledge Integration program at the University of Waterloo. Samir works in Toronto at a company called Trend Hunter, but his passion is in sustainable development. In his spare time he enjoys playing and watching sports and reading the newspaper.
Katrina is a licensed funeral director living in Toronto. Through her experience in assisting grieving families, she realized her interest in bringing more meaningful and sustainable death care options to Ontarians. She is excited for the future of local natural burial options, and is pleased to bring her knowledge of funeral services to the Natural Burial Association, where she assists in communications.
Michael is president of the Environics group of research and communications consulting companies which he co-founded in 1970. In 2006 he founded and serves as president of the non-profit Environics Institute for Survey Research whose mission is to sponsor original public opinion and social research on issues of public policy and social change. Michael is also the author of seven books, and was awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to public opinion research and his work in helping Canadians understand who they are as a country and a people.
Mary Anne Brinckman (1935–2007)
Mary Anne Brinckman was an exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate environmentalist. An extraordinary practical result of her environmental mission was her creative role in establishing three green magazines: she was the co-founding editor of Owl and Chickadee, the co-founding editor of Toronto Life Gardens (subsequently Gardening Life) and the founding editor of Green Living magazine. Her belief in Green Burial led to the formation of this Association.
Michel has championed the cause of natural burial grounds in his role as superintendent of the beautiful Cobourg Union Cemetery. He has been a long-term advocate of the use of earth-friendly processes, including the avoidance of pesticides and herbicides.
Rosemary is a former newspaper columnist and feature writer for Toronto Star and Globe and Mail. Rosemary has served 10 years on the Board of Directors of Ontario Nature, including two years as President of the Board. She is a life member of Pickering Field Naturalists and a member of Toronto Field Naturalists, and the founding chair of Equal Voice, a national organization for the election of more women to political office, for which she received a Governor-General’s award for service to Canadian women.
James is a retired media executive who was the one-time publisher of The Financial Post and Maclean’s magazine, President of Maclean Hunter Publishing Company and former-president of the Canadian Club of Toronto. He is a Toronto resident who cares about the city and our country and wishes to devote time to their future health.