Hello! My name is Steve McGovern and I am currently a Co-Chair of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network (FABN) Board of Governors.
There are several things that I love, and value highly, about being affiliated with the FAB. Of-course one of the most obvious things might be the fact that I am privileged to live within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. I can see marvelous attributes of the Arch right out my front door. I live beside Lyn Creek in Front of Yonge Township. On my property, I can see the large “whaleback” granitic outcrops typical of the Precambrian-aged granites that comprise the Arch – long ridges that span the distance from the St. Lawrence River up to the village of Lyn. A gorge-like section of Lyn Creek runs through my property as it carves its way through these spectacular geologic features on its way downstream to converge with the wetland complex at the mouth of Jones Creek. It is truly a fine example of watershed, wetland, forest, ancient rock and farmland – both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems – that converge into one of our region’s most diverse landscapes.
When I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors for FABN, I had anticipated I would do so for 2 or 3 years. I arrived at a time where the Biosphere was challenged to essentially rationalize its place within the context of the Global Biosphere Reserve system. This provided an opportunity for the Board members to come together and galvanize our efforts to demonstrate the value and merit of the Frontenac Arch to a tribunal of adjudicators from the UNESCO Head Office in Paris, France. Our report to the Paris group resulted in the FABN being re-designated as a Biosphere Reserve for another 10-year period. The exercise to acquire the re-designation affirmed for me that I was on a Board with a very caring, generous, and passionate group of individuals – all with different, yet valued, attributes and skills to bring to the table and work collaboratively to achieve our goals.
I am very proud of the work our Board has done: our Nature Camp is a beacon for young Nature lovers and learners; we have a fully functioning Advisory Board to help keep us on the right track moving forward; we have recently developed several substantial projects aimed at enhancing conservation efforts within the Biosphere as well as nature-based, sustainable tourism benefits. We have held two very successful Youth Climate Action Summits in challenging pandemic times. Another Summit is planned for this November, and there are likely many more to come.
The above samples are just a few of the reasons why I have stayed on with the Board far beyond my initial expectation of 2+ years. We are a group of people that are committed to moving the yardsticks for improved conservation measures, educating the residents of the area, and beyond, of the values within their backyard, and promoting notions of sustainable living, inclusion, and environmental ethics. I could not ask for a better group of people – both Board members and staff – to work with. I feel very privileged and proud to be a part of that group.
Steve McGovern, Co-Chair, FABN; Retired Biologist