We are working to permanently protect and improve biodiversity along Prince Edward County’s internationally recognized South Shore, Canada’s largest and last undeveloped Lake Ontario natural landscape and shoreline. With your support and input, we can ensure that future generations of migratory birds, species at risk and County residents will share in the enjoyment of the South Shore public lands.
Want to get involved? Have questions? Want more info about the South Shore? Please contact us!
Email us or call us at 613-849-7743.
Meet our Team
Katherine Rogalska – Events and Social Media Coordinator
Katherine is the Events and Social Media Coordinator for the South Shore Joint Initiative. She provides communication support and engages with groups, funders and individuals who are helping to enable us to succeed in advancing our mission and project objectives. Katherine has worked with many not-for-profit organizations in the arts, higher education and social services. She holds an honBA in the Arts Management Programme from the University of Toronto.
Katherine enjoys traveling, photography, arts, and hiking. She lives near the Bay of Quinte where she can observe a variety of birds and wildlife during her walks to the local Conservation Area. She admires the biodiversity and beauty of Prince Edward County landscape and its unique and pristine south shore.
Dawn Ayer – Communications Director
As Communications Director, Dawn is responsible for building awareness, engaging supporters and helping us achieve our vision for Prince Edward County’s South Shore. Prior to becoming self-employed, Dawn held management roles with Diabetes Canada, Aon Hewitt Canada and Aon Reed Stenhouse. She delivers original strategy and content services to a small, diverse group of non-profits and corporations.
As co-founder of her high school’s first environment club and more recently, Bamboo Magazine’s Green Keener columnist, Dawn has a long history of championing environmental causes. She is also an active advocate for history and was chair of the Canada 150 and Prince Edward 225 Celebration Ad Hoc Committee. Dawn and her
husband had their 1875 Athol farmhouse designated as a heritage property in 2019 and were grateful to accept the municipal plaque, together with the original owners.
Living just north of the South Shore Key and Biodiversity Area, Dawn spots species every day through her home office window. Since 2014, she’s actively supported local non-profits as well as the municipal and provincial governments in their efforts to protect and preserve the South Shore.
Meet our Leaders
Cheryl Anderson – Vice President
Vice President Cheryl Anderson moved to Prince Edward County in 2003 after retiring from a career in biochemistry research at the University of Guelph. In Guelph, Cheryl served in several positions of the Guelph Field Naturalists executive. As a member of the Guelph Round Table on the Environment and Economy, she chaired a Community Involvement Program to write a Guelph’s Green Plan.
Cheryl has served on the executive boards of the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory and a South Shore Joint Initiative board member. Her interest in the natural world has led to advocacy for the Prince Edward County South Shore Key Biodiversity Area.
John Hirsch – President
President John Hirsch had a long career in the Federal government with Canada Customs. Later he was a private sector customs and trade consultant and wound up his professional career in warehouse and transportation logistics in the Toronto area. Upon retiring to the County in 2014 with his wife and cats, John got involved in community service, primarily in the areas of environment and conservation – especially the South Shore.
Since 2014, John has been actively involved in the preservation and protection of the South Shore. In 2015-2016 he was appointed to the boards of Quinte Conservation Authority, Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory and CCSAGE – County Coalition for Safe and Appropriate Green Energy. From 2015-2017 John was an Appellant in the successful WPD White Pines ERT appeal and in 2018 he became the Founding Director and President of South Shore Joint Initiative.
Persuaded by many local environmental leaders, John ran in the municipal election in 2018 and now represents Ward 9 South Marysburgh. In this capacity, he sits on the Board of Quinte Conservation, the Audit Committee, Prince Edward Heritage Advisory Committee and the newly formed Environmental Advisory Committee.