Board of Directors

Brenda Beckwith


Mike Hounjet has a wide range of experience in the environmental field. He has worked in the mining, oil and gas, forestry, construction and not for profit sectors. He has a diploma in resource management from Lethbridge Community College and a degree in environmental science and agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan. Mike is very interested in soils, plant ecology, landscape ecology, ecosystem restoration and native plants.


Lindsay Hovde is a new member of the Kootenay Native Plant Society and is currently in the Recreation, Fish and Wildlife program at Selkirk College. She has studied holistic medicine, nutrition and the culinary arts and believes that human health is inevitably dependent upon the health of the environment and our intimate connection with it. Her vision is to work closely with the land and with others to create and promote models of healthy ecological and personal relationships.

ValerieValerie Huff is a restoration ecologist with a passion for native plants. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, a diploma in Restoration of Natural Systems from the University of Victoria, and a Masters of Science in environmental studies, also from the University of Victoria. Valerie has an environmental consulting company which uses her inter-related areas of expertise: plant science and restoration ecology; computer information management systems and data management; and outreach, training and education.

EvaEva Johansson is a founding member of the Kootenay Native Plant Society, has managed a native plant nursery for several years, and is a researcher and project coordinator with the Kootenay Camas Project. She is interested in learning more about citizen science, public outreach and the ecology and cultivation of camas.

Megan Read


Leanne Reitan is a graduate of the Recreation, Fish and Wildlife Technology program at Selkirk College, and has worked as the Faculty Assistant to the School of Environment and Geomatics at Selkirk College for over 15 years.  Her interest in native plants stems from a desire to see healthy ecosystems to support diverse and resilient ecological communities in British Columbia.  Her involvement with the battles against invasive species fought as part of the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee grew over time to align more with a nurturing role with the Kootenay Native Plant Society, as both groups do important work on flip sides of the same biological coin.

Suki Sawatzky


Lyrae Willis is a restoration ecologist with a life-long passion for the native plants of BC.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from UBC as well as training in wetland, riparian and fisheries assessments and ecological restoration.  Lyrae has always believed in working in the non-profit sector and has been volunteering with invasive species control and native species restoration for several years now both on the coast of BC and in the Kootenays.  She now has her own environmental consulting company in the Arrow Lakes area of the Kootenays and is happy to be settling there to make a permanent home with her family.