Introducing Jeremy Petrusma, A Rocha Ontario’s Conservation Coordinator

Written by Jeremy Petrusma, Ontario Conservation Coordinator
Edited by Madison Martinez, Communications and Administrative Coordinator

May 16, 2023

Jeremy measuring a tree.My name is Jeremy Petrusma and I am excited to introduce myself as the new Conservation Coordinator at the A Rocha Ontario Hub. My story with A Rocha goes back to 2017 when I spent my first (of three) summers at Cedar Haven. As a Conservation Assistant, I fell in love with Cedar Haven and the opportunity to practice my Christian faith through the conservation work that I contributed to that summer. It helped to spark my passion for God’s creation that I had cultivated in my childhood growing up with a forest, pond and grassland in my own backyard. I learned from scripture about God’s call to steward his world (Genesis 2:15) as his image bearer and Christ’s mission to restore all things that have been broken by the fall (Colossians 1:15-20).

Photo of Jeremy and a young girl looking into a nest box at the Cedar Haven Eco-Centre.These experiences and understanding of creation care shaped me and gave me motivation to complete my BSc in Environmental Science at Redeemer University in 2019. After spending some time with a Christian ENGO in Costa Rica, I joined the A Rocha Ontario staff full time in September 2020 as an Environmental Educator. This was a time of growth for me and the organization as we began welcoming kids to our outdoor school called Nature Academy. After that year, I went back to school and received a Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College and began working as a Terrestrial Monitoring Technician at Conservation Halton. I am excited to take what I have learned and apply it to the continued work and growth of our conservation program here in Ontario!

Jeremy in the garden at the Cedar Haven Eco-CentreIn my role as the Conservation Coordinator, I am also excited to share what I have learned about the connection between faith and hands-on conservation work. Through my experiences, I have come to learn that practical conservation work is one small way of being faithful to cultivating a life that follows his vision for a good and flourishing world. I experienced this earlier in the year as I had the opportunity to volunteer at A Rocha Portugal for the month of February. I stayed at the original A Rocha field study center located close to the rocky cliffs and beaches of the southern coast in the Algarve. I had the chance to catch and band different species of birds (I had never seen before!), work on a reforestation project with a local farmer and spend time in community with other volunteers and staff from around the world. It was this experience that helped me to remember the joy of living in a world that is too big and complex for us to fully understand. To sit and notice the patterns of life that we can and let it take our breath away.

We serve a God that saw it fit to create a masterpiece of a world from which we can see His creativity and power. It is our privilege to partner with him in serving and protecting this world which he has made.

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Help support A Rocha Ontario’s conservation work by making a donation! Your donation will support projects and programs designed to restore and preserve habitats at the Cedar Haven Eco-Centre and more broadly in Southern Ontario. As well, your donation will help us to engage and train volunteers in hands-on conservation.

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