Program Manager – Camille LeBlanc

Camille is a graduate of Selkirk College’s Integrated Environmental Planning Program and has been volunteering with FOKLSS for quite a few years.

Camille is passionate about ecosystem conservation with a particular interest in wetland restoration. She is excited to bring her knowledge of wetlands, native plants, and restoration to the many exciting projects FOKLSS has planned.

Camille grew up along the Sturgeon River in Alberta where she explored the surrounding wetlands and learned the names of the birds and the plants. After traveling in British Columbia’s Southern Interior, working on organic farms, her draw to live in wild spaces next to lakes and mountains brought her to Nelson, BC in 2013.
Camille graduated from Selkirk College with an Associates Degree in Peace and Justice Studies and a diploma in Integrated Environmental Planning in 2018. Camille is grounded in both the social and environmental sciences which reflect her passion for community capacity building and environmental advocacy.  Today Camille is the Program Manager of Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society and is leading projects on shoreline restoration, wildlife monitoring, and water quality monitoring.



Environmental Program Coordinator – Kayla Tillapaugh

Kayla grew up in the Okanagan and Shuswap regions on Syilx and Secwepemc traditional territory. She fostered a young passion for geology, ecology and biology in the rolling mountains and river valleys of the North Okanagan. Kayla conceived a radiant son and soon after moved to the Kootenays to pursue a diploma in Integrated Environmental Planning Technology. She now resides in Castlegar, BC – traditional territory of the Sn̓ ʕay̓ ckstx (Sinixt), as well as the outer territories of the Ktunaxa, Secwepemc and Sylix First Nations. She plans to pursue a career in Indigenous Environmental Science or a related field.

Kayla has a year and a half experience in rural research working at Selkirk College’s Applied Research & Innovation Centre in partnership with local governments, businesses and organizations in the Columbia Basin and Boundary regions. She also has experience working as an Environmental/Cultural Field Technician for the Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land) department of the Splatsin Band. She is passionate about traditional stewardship, cultural awakening, sustainable living, conservation, plant-based living, ecological restoration, human-wildlife relationships, and various aspects of societal constructs and paradigm shifting.

Kayla has been with Friends of Kootenay Lake since September 2020 assisting with program creation, program management, fundraising, communications and outreach.



Environmental Outreach Coordinator – Joelle Burnie

Joelle has had a love and passion for protecting nature since the very beginning. She grew up in a small town in Ontario surrounded by beautiful freshwater lakes, Canadian Shield, and diverse forests. She has spent a lot of her time hiking local trails, kayaking, camping, and indulging in nature photography. But despite the beauty of her home town, Joelle has always dreamed of living out west. She is excited to call Nelson home during her time here!

Before joining the FOKLSS team, Joelle worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and a non-profit land trust in Ontario. She has three years of experience in Engagement Organizing and communications and is excited to share her knowledge and passion for nature with the FOKLSS community.

Joelle graduated from Trent University with a Bachelors of Environmental Science and Studies. She has spent several years volunteering as a Citizen Scientist for a non-profit in Ontario and is always working on improving her field and ID skills. In addition to this volunteer role, Joelle has presented to numerous Elementary School classes on topics ranging from plastic pollution, birding, and composting. Back in Ontario, she also created a hiking group for young folks in her community to connect like-minded individuals together and share their love for the outdoors.

Joelle will be assisting with outreach, program coordination, communications, volunteer and member engagement and field work.