4RG Board of Directors – 2024

Mary Ellen (Mel) Abberger is an environmentalist and activist. She grew up in Toronto before moving to Peterborough, where she graduated from Trent University with an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Science and Studies. Mel has worked on sustainable farms and in research laboratories, and is currently a volunteer and outreach coordinator and field technician for The Land Between Charity.

Mel is an active member of For Our Grandchildren, and also works on local environmental issues through other groups and networks. She has attended and organized events such as rallies, presentations, and an environmental debate. Mel is particularly passionate about nature conservation, and political environmental action and accountability.

Outside of her work and activism, Mel enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and travelling.

Mark Bullock grew up in Mount Pleasant and attended Crestwood Secondary School, which was where he first learned about the “greenhouse effect.” In 1983, he graduated from Trent University with an Honours Degree in History. After graduation he did two years of Mennonite Voluntary Service, working with the New York City Coalition for the Homeless. After returning to Canada, Mark worked in construction for six years. He obtained his carpenter’s licence in 1994. In 1996 he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Windsor. During his teaching career, Mark taught English and History, first at PCVS, until it closed in 2011, and then at Adam Scott CVI. He retired from teaching in 2020.

Mark and his wife Natalie have been married since 1989. They have three adult sons. Mark likes getting around in the out of doors – walking, cycling, canoeing, and cross-country skiing. He and Natalie often take cycle tours of places which they visit, and also ride frequently on the local trail network.

Mark joined 4RG in 2021, and has been working with the Events Committee and the Political Action Committee on various projects.

Geoff Daw was born in Montreal and grew up in Kanata just outside of Ottawa. Geoff graduated from Trent University in 1981 with a BSc degree in Environmental Science and Biology. He retired in 2021 after a career in the Information Technology sector where he spent most of his time as a Database Administrator and Data Engineer.

After retiring, Geoff and his wife Wendy moved to the Peterborough area and have become involved in several groups including the Peterborough New Canadian Center, Lakefield Animal Welfare Society, Fair Vote Canada and For Our Grandchildren.

They both enjoy camping, canoeing, hiking, swimming, biking, social ballroom dancing, curling and spending time with their pets.

Marilyn Freeman. In 1974 Toronto transit went on strike for 22 days. I’d had enough of trying to hitchhike anywhere and didn’t own a car. I bought a bike. That was the beginning of my awareness of pollution, environment and climate. Before becoming an active transportation activist, I had to indulge my love of cycling by racing, representing Canada at the World Championships and becoming the Program Director of the Ontario Cycling Association. Along the way I managed to get a BA in political science, a B.Ed and an M.Ed in adult education which I parlayed into a 25 year career with the Toronto School Board.

Seventeen years ago I left Toronto and moved to Kingston where I worked with foreign students at Queen’s U. During the 6 years I lived in Kingston, I was on the board of the Kingston Coalition for Active Transportation. After moving to Peterborough I joined the Ptbo Field Naturalists (PFN) and the board of the Peterborough Bicycle Advisory Committee.

When not advocating for more climate friendly options, I’m cycling, kayaking, birding, gardening, cross country skiing, reading and sometimes writing book reviews for the PFN, the Greenzine and 4RG.

Guy Hanchet. Born at 310 ppmCO2. Graduate of McGill University, B.Sc. Mathematics, 1972. Climate Reality leader trained by Al Gore in San Francisco in 2012, member of Citizens Climate Lobby since 2012, member of For Our Grandchildren National Steering Committee since 2009, Founder and Chair of the Peterborough Chapter of For Our Grandchildren, member of the Kawartha Loon Exchange Board of Governors, Co-Founder of Peterborough Leap Manifesto local chapter, participant in Peterborough Climate Change Action Plan Task Force.

Guy has spoken many times on the topic of Climate change including as the warm up act for David Suzuki at the November 29, 2015 March for Climate Solutions in Ottawa before a crowd of 25,000.

Guy is driven to action by the need to answer his grandchildren when they ask “Grandpa, if you knew it was going to be so bad, why didn’t you do more?” He would like to be able to say “I did what I could.”

Robert Lockhart grew up in Peterborough and moved back to the area in 1982 after twelve years in Toronto. He lives in Ennismore with his wife Donna in a log home built by Peter Robinson settlers in the early 1800s. Robert is retired from nearly 50 years as a planner in the field of culture, recreation and parks. He is also a specialist in group facilitation, community engagement and strategic planning. During the 1980s, Robert spent six years as part-time Executive Director of the Peterborough Social Planning Council. While at York University, Robert completed an Honours BA in Geography and a Masters in Environmental Studies.

Robert is a member of the 4RG Political Action Committee. He is also a member of the Kawartha Chapter of the Electric Vehicle Society of Canada. Robert stays abreast of the transition to electric transportation, ‘green’ ways to heat and cool buildings, and non- carbon electricity generation. His hobbies include volunteering, boating, woodworking and other hand crafts.

Beth McKinlay’s  deep connection with nature led her to work as a naturalist in parks across Canada, and then to teaching high school science.  Her understanding of the interconnectedness of environmental issues led her to expand her teaching qualifications (MA – University of Toronto) and then to teach social sciences, Indigenous Studies,  World Religions and Ethics. In her classes, and as the teacher supervisor of the school’s Social Justice Club, Beth helped to empower students realize they could be agents of positive change.

In her retirement, Beth started volunteering in order to promote climate education and activism, and is a trained Climate Reality Project leader. She also volunteers with the Kids Help Phone Crisis Text Line and enjoys spending time outdoors, playing piano, and experimenting with many art activities.

Scott McKinlay is a life-long naturalist and educator.  He grew up exploring the fields and forests of his parent’s farm, graduated from Fisheries and Wildlife Biology at University of Guelph, and worked as head naturalist at MacGregor Point Provincial Park on Lake Huron.  He has banded birds at Long Point on Lake Erie, and studied coyote ecology (MSc) at Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park.

A retired high school science teacher, Scott has pursued his environmental passion by leading outings for the Peterborough Field Naturalists, and contributing as a citizen scientist with the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, and Project Feeder Watch.  As a member of 4RG he strives to rally his community to help protect this planet from the worst of the climate crisis, and is a trained Climate Reality Project leader.

David Morton graduated from The University of Toronto with a BA in Political Science followed by an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from York University and an Honorary Doctorate from Trent University. He had a successful business career with several Companies including 12 years as President and CEO of The Quaker Oats Company of Canada.

Since retirement he has focussed on volunteer work and on giving back to the community including serving on Boards such as Trent University where he served as Chair of The Board of Governors. In 2003, he was recognized by the City of Peterborough as Peterborough’s Volunteer of the Year, awarded for his leadership of the “Breaking New Ground” Fundraising Campaign which led to the building of our new Peterborough Regional Health Centre. He currently serves on the PRHC Foundation Board and on the Morton Community Healthcare Centre Board.

Always a wilderness and nature lover, David has become an ardent environmentalist who wants to help to address the existential threat of Climate Change. He is proud to be a member of For Our Grandchildren and is delighted to be sharing this experience with Patricia, his wife of over 50 years.

Ruth Perkins  was raised in a family of 10 in northern Ontario, in towns near Thunder Bay and Sudbury. My parents were educators who believed children should be outdoors as much as possible. Sometimes lunch was served to us standing on the porch, so we didn’t need to change out of our snowsuits. My first paid job, age 10, was catching frogs to put in a neighbours pond ($0.25/frog).

After studying at Trent U. and Sir Sanford College I reluctantly moved to “Big Smoky” aka Toronto, for work.  I raised 2 daughters there.  Vacations were spent camping, wilderness canoeing, bike trips, etc. They still enjoy city life, and are raising my 4 grandchildren there. I love their frequent Ptbo. visits and the outdoor recreation so accessible here. 

My first job was as Coordinator of a collective at Kensington Bellwoods Community Legal Clinic 1975-1988. Free legal services are provided for low income clients, including casework, community organizing, and law reform. Folks were helped with difficulties they experienced as injured workers, tenants, immigrants/refugees, women experiencing violence, and the many cruelties of living in poverty. After resigning I was on their community board from 1988-2003. 

There are many of these clinics in Ontario, and as a volunteer I was on the staff Union Organizing Committee, and Executive. We successfully unionized most clinics, and during my tenure I was proud we won a group supplementary health insurance plan including dental benefits. 

My 2nd job was as Executive Director at the Graduate Students’ Union, at the University of Toronto 1989-2013.  We represented about 16,000 masters and PhD students in about 85 departments, on 4 campuses. (The university is a city within a city!) I worked closely with the elected Executive and Council (with over 100 representatives), campus groups, and many faculty and staff. As the priorities of the Union changed over time I was fortunate to work on campaigns for affordable post secondary education, affordable housing, violence against women, racism, sustainability and waste reduction, and more. It was never boring!  (My friends teased me that my real job title was Sh— Disturber.) 

I was Treasurer on the board of St. Bartholomew’s Childrens Centre, Regent Park, Toronto, 2014-2018. 

I enjoy non-motorized activities, and believe the climate crisis is an existential and immediate threat. I admire the folks, and work done, in 4RG, and I’m grateful to be welcomed into this effective, well organized, and caring community. 

Alan Slavin is retired from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Trent University where he taught and did research on solid surfaces, with about 60 peer-reviewed papers. He holds teaching awards from Trent University, as well as provincial and national awards.

He has worked in the past towards nuclear disarmament through the Peterborough branch of Project Ploughshares, and is a member of Science for Peace and Canadian Pugwash.

He was on the steering committee that oversaw the development of the local Climate Change Action Plans, and is on the GHG Emission Data subcommittee of the Peterborough Environmental Advisory Committee.

Al enjoys badminton, cross-country skiing, reading, and playing harmonica.

Linda Slavin is retired from community organizing (social entrepreneurship, gender rights, anti-racism/colonialism, food security, anti poverty, environment and reconciliation) as well as international development through Trent, working 7 years in Mexico and Ecuador. She is a founding member of Sustainable Peterborough and sits on its Coordinating Committee and Food and Farming Working Group.

She was a member of the Peterborough chapter of Project Ploughshares, working towards nuclear disarmament. She is a founder of the local Raging Grannies and ran for elected government office 5 times.

Linda holds 6 awards for her work in community and international development. She enjoys cooking, reading, movies, and walking.

Honorary Board Members

Patricia Morton – 2019 to 2021

Kate Grierson – 2015 to 2021

Drew Monkman – 2013 to 2022

Past Board Members

Steve Russell – 2013 to 2023

Connie McKracken – 2019 to 2023

Malaika Collette – 2021 to 2023