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Profile 1 - Stana Luxford-Oddie

.By Christine Hamelin with photography by Bernard Clark

Stana Luxford-Oddie, a petite, elfin woman with curly brown hair and a tinkly laugh, has devoted her life to helping people of all ages achieve peace and well-being by connecting with nature. Although she has been the senior conservation educator at the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority for 22 years, her relationship with nature is constantly expanding. “My practice deepens on a daily basis as I guide and am guided by the forest,” she says.

An only child, Stana was born in London, Ontario, a city with two expansive parks. Her mother, Debbie Luxford, a project manager, shared her love of nature with Stana. “I have a spiritual connection to nature, and as a baby, I remember — or maybe it’s an imagining — the feeling of being in a pram and looking up at the trees. As soon as I could sit up, Mom had me in the little carrier on her bike, and whenever we could, we’d go to one of the parks. We’d explore, and I’d be singing. She didn’t impart naturalist knowledge but rather a general sense of well-being and awe.”

Stana’s parents divorced when she was five, but she continued to see her father, Joe Svilpa, on weekends and is still close to him. . . . .

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