It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we convey the sudden passing of our dear friend Peter Wensink, on July 5, 2020.
Peter graduated from the Forestry Technician Program at Lakehead University in 1983. Over the next 37 years he taught, mentored, implemented, and guided many forestry adventures. His friendly manner and eagerness to share his forestry knowledge with private landowners and the forestry profession was trademark Peter. Quite often he would end those conversations with his familiar “anything else I can do for you”!
To say our friend had a successful and varied career would be an understatement. He started his forestry career in 1984 with Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) in Cornwall. While working for MNR he guided many field operations in the Private Land Forestry, Agreement Forest, Hybrid Poplar and Science and Technology Programs. It was during this time that I had the pleasure of meeting and forming a lifelong friendship with Peter!
In 1986 Peter started his first of two periods of employment with the St. Lawrence Park Commission at Upper Canada Village (UCV), as the ever pleasant and knowledgeable Tenant Farmer. His second term with UCV was from 2005 to 2020. His talents were always on display, whether sowing and harvest crops, tending to the farm animals or plowing the fields with his oxen, he was always ready to share a story or a friendly smile. A farm-boy at heart he did not play the role of tenant farmer, he lived it!
Domtar Forestry came calling in 1998 and he left the Village to take on the role as Forest Technician for the Domtar Woodlot Management Program. A position that enabled him to combine his friendly manner and woodlot management skills into a successful private land program.
In addition to his landowner contacts during his time with MNR and Domtar Forestry, many private woodlot owners in eastern Ontario would know him as their “forestry go-to guy” with his private business, LORAX Forestry Management and Consulting. From forest management plans to tree marking and everything else in between he helped countless landowners achieve their forestry objectives.
Peter was also a part-time College Lecturer in Agroforestry for the University of Guelph’s two-year Agriculture Diploma Program. He was the Manager /Operator of the Agroforestry Centre and Maple Syrup Production Facility for the Campus from 2010 and had continued in the position for the Municipality of North Grenville from 2017 to the present time.
Peter was considered an expert in Agroforestry and developed the Forest Management Plan for the Maple Forest located on campus. The plan was presented to the municipality in January of 2020. As a direct result the campus forests achieved Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certification through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest’s Forest Certification Program. Peter was a strong ambassador for Kemptville Campus and was deeply committed to realizing the Agroforestry Centre’s full potential. His commitment to sustainable forest management of the Maple Forest is one of many natural legacies he has left for future generations.
Peter leaves behind his wife and best friend of 33 years, Erin, and his three cherished sons, Gerrit (Hailee), Jacob (Camille), and Samuel (Lauren). Peter is also survived by his mother Nellie Wensink, sister Nellie McKay (Glenn), brother John Wensink (Rhonda), parents-in-law Evelyn and Robert Hosler and brothers-in-law Kevin Hosler and Brent Hosler, nine much-loved nieces and nephews, and many very good friends.
We will miss you Pete but we are so grateful for the friendship and the many laughs we shared together!
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. Robert Frost.