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Board Chair: Albi Sole

I am happiest when I am outdoors, and outdoor leadership has been my primary source of employment. For 18 years I worked as a ski and mountaineering  guide. Over the last 25 years I have become increasingly involved in helping others become outdoor people . I ran the Mountain Programs at the UofC’s Outdoor Centre for 17 years and was a founding member of the Outdoor Council of Canada, My hope is that ORCA can become a powerful voice for the whole outdoor community.

Secretary-Treasurer: Connie Simmons

Connie has been a long-time outdoor recreation enthusiast – growing up in northern BC with a bush-pilot/Forest Ranger Dad who started her off fishing off the floats of a De Havilland Beaver and instilling a deep love of the wild. This grounding led her to a B.P.E. in Outdoor Education at the U of A, followed by a PhD focused on environmental philosophy/conservation history. She has years of experience in youth outdoor education, public engagement in watershed management, land-use planning, conservation, and recreation management.

Connie is a member of the Alberta Hiking Association and enjoys day-hikes and multi-day backpacking excursions. She also loves paddling Alberta’s rivers, and spending winters cross-country skiing and snowshoeing near her home in SW Alberta. She joins ORCA to help bring the voice of outdoor recreationists forward in land-use and recreation management decisions and policy development.

Director: Marla Zapach

Marla has spent the last 20 years working internationally within the realms of peace building, stabilizing, monitoring and evaluating in world conflict zones. Her work focused on developing engagement strategies for creating sustainable peace and creating metrics for their evaluation and reporting. Returning to Alberta, Marla has pursued her passions for biodiversity protection, recreation management and strategy. She has sat on many boards including the North Saskatchewan Regional Advisory Committee, the Bighorn Backcountry Standing Committee, the Clearwater County Heritage Board, the Alberta Hiking Association and the Tawatinaw Watershed Working Group. 

Director: Apoorv Saini

Apoorv Saini is a PhD student working with Dr. Erin Bayne at the University of Alberta and Boreal Ecosystem Recovery and Assessment (BERA) on recreation ecology. He is working on how anthropogenic disturbances arising due to human use of linear features (seismic lines, pipelines, transmission lines, trails and roads) are affecting biodiversity in the province of Alberta. Apoorv is an ecologist, conservationist and also a nature photographer who obtained his masters from the UK. He is currently living in Edmonton.

We are coalition of recreation groups and individuals advocating for the outdoor recreation community

Help us advance the public interest regarding outdoor recreation as we coordinate and amplify the voices of outdoor community

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