Our Steering Committee

COG-OSO’s activities are made possible thanks to the hard work of its Steering Committee, volunteers, and of course its supporters! Our Steering Committee normally meets one evening per month to discuss upcoming events, services, programs, and activities. Our Steering Committee members are very hands-on and directly involved in delivering services within the community, along with additional volunteers. Our Steering Committee follows a “working board” and “shared leadership” model.  This model means every member of our board is responsible for helping with different areas of our chapter and its services.

We are always looking for community members to join us on the Steering Committee. In particular, we are looking with community members who have expertise in communications, marketing, youth and adult education and farming. If you are interested, please get in touch!

COG OSO Steering Committee Meetings  are open to COG members and the public and we’d love to have you attend! In 2018 the steering committee meetings will take place on the 4th Thursday of each month from 7:00-9:00 pm. The location of the meeting is variable, so if you’d like to attend, please contact us and we’ll let you know where we’re meeting! cog.oso.chapter@cog.ca.

Caitlin Carrol, Steering Committee Chair


I’m an organic urban gardener with an insatiable appetite for locally grown, organic food. After participating in a number of workshops and events put on by COG OSO, I decided to join the steering committee so I could help shape and support the excellent programming they offer to the community. In my spare time I also write a food blog (www.culinarilyinclined.com) that focuses on cooking with local, seasonal, and mostly organic food.



Gary Weinhold, Treasurer



I have been involved with COG-OSO for about 14 years. I wanted to contribute to the organic movement in Canada.  I had been on the OCIA Wisconsin chapter board prior to coming here.


Dick Coote, Membership Secretary


I’ve been involved since 1997. I got started because I used to produce soybeans and cereal grains using herbicides. I started to notice that spraying made me ill, even though I was conscientious about using protection. If these chemicals were having this effect on me, heaven knows what effects they were having on wildlife, birds, insects…COG helped me make contacts with like-minded farmers, and guided me to information valuable for organic production.

Lloyd Strachan, Coordinator of the Information Booth


I have been a COG member since about 1982 when I joined the Toronto chapter while living in Aurora. I had recently returned to Canada after living in Brazil, started gardening and wanted more information on organic practices. I got involved in COG’s national campaign to ban the pesticide Alar, but only became active in chapter activities after moving to the Ottawa region in the early 1990s.


David Townson, Organic Gardening Seminars Coordinator


I have been a Steering Committee member for 15 years and coordinator for the Organic Gardening Courses, Workshops and now Seminars for about 14 years. I am an avid organic gardener practicing what COG preaches in my backyard and allotment gardens! I enjoy sharing my knowledge and a collection of books about organic gardening at the Organic Gardening Seminars. I have been a contributor to Down to Earth writing articles about various trips such as my visit to the Rodale Field Day in 2013 which I really enjoyed!

 Alissa Campbell, GUO Liaison

IMG_2911I have been involved with COG OSO since 2011 through Growing Up Organic. I am continuously humbled by the work that the volunteers at COG OSO accomplish and am glad to continue my involvement with the chapter as a Steering Committee member this year. Eating well and conscientiously, while supporting the producers that allow us to do so, is a personal passion of mine. COG OSO is a great place to allow this passion to grow.

Margaret Tourond-Townson, Senior Organic Gardeners Liason

Margaret in Prague

Margaret is the Lead Volunteer for Senior Organic Gardeners- a program of COG OSO launched in 2012 in 2 seniors’ residences and now expanded to more than 9 seniors’ settings with plans to expand to Supportive Living and Aboriginal settings in 2016.
Margaret became Editor of Down to Earth in 2003 and in 2010 became Interim Chair. She has had her finger in a lot of pies at COG OSO- helping with fundraising, communications, events such as Feast of Fields and developing a Legacy Program for COG OSO for the years to come.
She is a passionate gardener of organic herbs under the direction of her husband David. She has assisted David in organizing the Urban Organic Gardening Seminars since 2004.