Tobi educating two people inside of a mine

Tobi Kiesewalter: interpretive naturalist extraordinaire

Nothing’s more inspiring than a person with a true passion for nature.

Tobi Kiesewalter is one of those people. He puts his passion to work as the Natural Heritage Education leader at Murphys Point Provincial Park. 

Tobi’s been a valued member of the Ontario Parks family for a whopping 22 years. Now, we’re proud to announce he is the recipient of the National Association for Interpretation’s Great Lakes Region Master Interpretive Manager Award.

Innovative programming

Tobi oversees the educational programming at Murphys Point. He helped kick-start visitor favourites like the Heritage Mica Days.

Tobi was happy to spread his passion for our heritage to the next generation with the Archeo Apprentice program. This Friends of Murphys Point Park program allowed grade 5 students to work alongside professional archaeologists.

This program acted as a fantastic opportunity for children to get hands-on archaeology experience and develop an enthusiasm for cultural heritage.

Stellar character

Tobi is known for his character throughout the Murphys Point staff.

One colleague in particular was touched by Tobi’s talent, dedication, and support.

“Tobi has been the most influential mentor of my interpretation career. He gently coached me through insecurities, and knew when to let me ‘figure it out on my own.’ He allowed me self-direction and creativity, but engaged in my work through insightful feedback based on NAI’s interpretive theory principles.”

Tobi showing a Gray Ratsnake to two people
Tobi introduces visitors to a Gray Ratsnake

“His enthusiasm is infectious. He’s a leader and trailblazer for interpretation within our Ontario Parks organization, a hard-working and creative innovator.”

A master of environmentalism

Tobi’s enthusiasm may be the secret to his excellence in natural resource management.

Tobi holding a recorder
Thank you for all of your contributions over the years, Tobi!

He was responsible for the initiation and coordination of the Gray Ratsnake monitoring and telemetry project. He also coordinates removal of invasive plants in the park.

Tobi was also a member of the Ontario Parks Natural Heritage Education Review Committee. Through this he has helped expand numerous interpretive programs for parks across the province.

One of those many expansions includes helping to coordinate the pilot program for Ontario Parks’ Discovery Program.

The Discovery Program encourages families to explore the natural and cultural features in parks. This important program uses a different approach from traditional interpretive programs to engage families in our collective heritage.

All of these incredible accomplishments are what make us proud to see Tobi win this prestigious award and continue to have him on our team.

Next time you see Tobi in Murphys Point, make sure to say thank you for all of his help in making the environment, his coworkers, and you have a fantastic Ontario Parks experience.

Congratulations Tobi!