The following was provided by one of our founding members, John Ambrose:
“In 1990 I was intrigued by the announcement for the second SER conference, with a wide range of inspiring and provocative speakers lined up, from a New Jersey economist on the Buffalo Commons in the plains states, Wes Jackson on the Land Institute and perennial grain crops, Vine Deloria and other aboriginal voices of restoration, to the perceived opportunity for much philosophical discussion with the likes of Gary Paul Nabhan, Wendall Berry, and Bill Jordan. This was obviously far more than a typical biology or ecology conference, and it was not just a conference on the techniques of restoring plant communities, it was about restoring the human spirit as well. So I, along with about 10 others from Ontario, were drawn as in a pilgrimage to a Chicago airport hotel, not an inspiring venue, but for a most inspiring event. It was there I met Alex Wilson and the others from Ontario, and at that meeting we were given the challenge to propose a conference in Ontario in two years. The next year and a half we had many planning meetings, energized by Chicago, that led to the Waterloo conference of 1992.
It was only natural that the energy and spirit of that event be kept alive, so a meeting the following spring was called in conjunction with an event at the High Park Black Oak Savannah to seek interest in forming a local chapter at a time when there was only a few local chapters. Here we gathered more interested individuals and by the end of 1993 we had submitted a proposal to Madison for chapter formation, and the provisional board was now seeking officers to lead the chapter and fulfill objectives that we established though member input and a productive strategic planning session lead by members Donna Havinga and Jean-Marc Daigle. Since then we have hosted several field events that have attracted the interest of members and university students, participated in concerns relating to ecological restoration such as seed certification, have maintained a newsletter and up to date information relevant to the practice of restoration, and now we offer a comprehensive directory”.
Today, SER Ontario continues to build on this foundation and offer annual field events, put out a quarterly newsletter, publish a Native Plant Resource Guide every few years, and seek partnerships and opportunities for increasing awareness about ecological restoration in this province.