Paul Pratt has been introducing young people to conservation for as long as ERCA has been around, and has inspired an environmental consciousness in hundreds of thousands of adults and children. He has been the City of Windsor’s Naturalist since 1975, where he manages the operation of Ojibway Park, Black Oak Heritage Park, Tallgrass Prairie Heritage Park, Spring Garden Natural Area and the Ojibway Nature Centre.
Paul has taught many field naturalists courses over the past four decades, and has authored many papers on wildlife management. He is an expert birder who for 10 years held the record for the World Series of Birding out-of-region “Big Day”. Paul has been key in helping to bringing birding to the forefront of the tourist industry in Windsor and Essex County. He is a founding member of the Essex County Field Naturalists Club and the Friends of Point Pelee. For many years, Paul served as the regional coordinator for Ontario Atlas publications for breeding birds, mammals and trees. His is a founding member of the Ontario Rare Bird Records Committee, and a Charter and Life Member of the Ontario Field Ornithologists. He is also Past President of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Paul’s nature photographs have appeared in dozens of publications, and in fact, his photos and expertise contributed to the first field guides ever written for dragonflies and damselflies. He is also an expert in reptiles, amphibians, bats, mammals and prairie systems. He is a patient and willing teacher, mentor and presenter. Paul’s expertise runs the gamut of nature and wildlife. He has embraced the lifestyle of a true ecologist, and shares his love and knowledge of all living things with those he teaches and inspires. For these reasons, we are pleased to honour him as a Conservation Champion.