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Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary
3873 Swan Lake Road, Victoria, B.C. Canada, V8X 3W1
Phone: (250) 479-0211   Fax: (250) 479-0132
E-mail: In order to reduce the amount of spam e-mail we are receiving, we have removed our contact e-mails from this page. If you wish to send us an e-mail, please use the following address:


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Staff of Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary


Kathleen Burton

Executive Director

A recognized community leader known for developing and guiding strategic vision to achieve organizational goals, Kathleen Burton, Executive Director of Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary offers a unique blend of executive not for profit insight, comprehensive team building and operational improvement.  Kathleen has a focus on membership and donor stewardship to further organizational goals.  Kathleen is a well-respected not-for-profit leader in the region, and Kathleen gives back to her community. She believes if she is to ask the community to volunteer or donate their time then she too should first do just that.

Through her marketing & communications consulting she takes time to support local community efforts such as the Saanich Police Department. Kathleen also gives back by being a mentor as part of the Prodigy Group and has been working with the same mentee for the last 3 years. With a reputation for involvement with the local business community and a dedicated commitment to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Victoria, Kathleen believes in the benefits of being a Member and where partnerships are encouraged business will flourish. She believes strongly that when we come together to work in partnership we not only build community, but our own organizations benefit and achieve remarkable success. Kathleen is a past Board Director for both the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Victoria.  

Kathleen is mother to two teenaged sons, Jess (aged 19) and Jacob (aged 16). In her spare time she enjoys singing, hiking, cycling, boxing and paddling. 



Pamela Hayer

Office & Accounting Manager

Pamela Hayer joined us in September 2016 as Office and Accounting Manager.  She brings over 25 years of solid leadership and management experience gained within various areas of the private sector.  Her most recent role was Human Resources Manager and Certified Executive Coach where she was responsible for over 300 team members.  Pamela has a natural aptitude for communication and her passion lies in encouraging and empowering others.  Her appreciation and respect for nature, coupled with a desire for a change in pace has bought her to the “sanctuary” team.  



Renée Cenerini
Program Manager

Renée graduated from the University of Victoria in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies. She has been with the Nature Sanctuary, both as a volunteer and staff, since 1999. Renée entered the Program Naturalist position in September, 2008. Her responsibilities include development and delivery of public and school programs, as well as taking over the beloved pre-school program “Birds and Butterflies”. As her name suggests, Renée is our resident Francophone, and she is able to add a language dimension to some of our children's programs. Renée works Monday to Thursday.



Coral Forbes
Program Naturalist

In May, 2010, Coral joined the Naturalist team after volunteering with Swan Lake for over 10 years.  Coral graduated in 2003 with a B.Sc. in Biology specializing in Botany and Ecology. Coral has worked at the University of Victoria, Provincial Museum and for the Federal Government, but has the most fun working with children and fostering a love and respect for Nature.  Coral will be in and around the Nature House from Monday to Thursday.






Francie Morgan
Program Naturalist

In 2013, Francie graduated from the University of Victoria with an Environmental Studies and Gender Studies Bachelors Degrees. The East coaster was hired onto the Swan Lake team at the beginning of 2014 and has loved it ever since. With a background in theater and science you can find Francie facilitating travelling and on site school programs, running `Biology Buddies`and `Homeschool Science`classes, hosting birthday parties or just making the center more accessible for weekend visitors. She loves to chat so come on in Wednesday to Saturday to share with her your latest natural encounters!






Erin Lawless

Program Naturalist

Erin joined the Natualist team in September 2014. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a B.Sc. double major in Geography and Environmental Studies. Erin has always been a nature-nut, and is passionate about conservation. In addition to environmental education, Erin has also held a number of environmentally focused positions with all levels of Government. Erin is having a blast facilitating school programs, seniors' programs, and birthday parties. She loves most that she is constantly learning from nature and children. You can find Erin at the Nature House from Sunday to Tuesday.



Jay Rastogi

Site Manager

Jay Rastogi studied Natural Resources Management and Environmental Studies at the University of Guelph and also worked at the University Arboretum. After graduation, Jay mentored in sustainable forestry practices with renowned ecoforester, Merv Wilkinson. Over the past 15 years, Jay has shared the teachings and principles with thousands of students and adults during tours and workshops.


His family background includes farming and forestry in Ontario, and wandering the foothills of the Himalayans, where he lived until he was 12 years old.


His interests include nature observation, studying landscape ecology and promoting sustainable land stewardship and self-sufficiency. He is especially fond of growing food and foraging for wild plants and mushrooms.



Jeff Skinner

Assistant Site Manager

Jeff began working with Swan Lake as a volunteer in 2015 and later joining the team as Assistant Site Manager in 2016. Jeff fostered a love of nature while exploring the forests of northern Vancouver Island where he grew up. He later attended Camosun College and graduated in 2014 with a diploma in Environmental Technology.
Jeff has worked with several non-profit societies throughout the CRD and Gulf Islands doing everything from restoration to data collection to video production. In addition to Swan Lake Jeff also works as a commercial diver, focusing mostly on restoration of marine ecosystems.
When not combing the trails of Swan Lake for invasive species, Jeff enjoys gardening, woodworking, and photography.



Julia Dawson

Julia Dawson

Co-ordinator of Volunteers and Events

Julia loves to engage and support people as they give of their time and skills to volunteer work.  Her experience includes 7 years as a volunteer coordinator, most recently at Our Place Society where she successfully managed a program involving over 300 volunteers.  This experience increased her ability to advocate for a diverse population of volunteers and to establish effective recruitment and retention strategies.  Prior to this she was a Music Director at a local church, coordinating weekly and seasonal events and developing a strong music and tech volunteer team.


Julia is also a volunteer, giving time to Reynolds High school where her two children attend and serving on music and arts teams at Emmanuel Baptist church where her husband of 21 years is on staff.


Julia is delighted to join the Swan Lake Christmas Hill team and is looking forward to meeting the many volunteers and staff who champion the sanctuary.  She is inspired by the beauty of the natural surroundings and aspires to grow in her understanding and appreciation of the ecosystems so that she can be a Swan Lake Christmas Hill champion too.

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