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Gary Saunders

The Meaning of Place

Location:Canada
Topic:Art & Music

Gary Saunders, a forester, a painter, an educator and a writer in the tradition of Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. His most recent book is the award-winning My Life with Trees, a unique memoir of 30 chapters each focussed on a species of tree, and on his memories of people associated with that tree.

Gary Saunders is the author of the award-winning book My Life with Trees: A Sylvan Journey. In this exclusive Green Interview, he speaks with Silver Donald Cameron about how he is at home in the woods, and how that came to be, starting out in out port Newfoundland as the son of a river man. He spent most of his adult life in Nova Scotia as a forester, an artist, an educator and a writer.

Background

Gary Saunders started out as a painter, studying fine arts at Mount Allison University the Ontario College of Art, but went on to be trained as a forester, and took a position with the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests extension program. Here, he became an educator, an editor and writer. Saunders has been a frequent contributor to numerous periodicals and is the author of numerous books, ranging from guidebooks (Trees of Nova Scotia and At a Glance: A Guide to Identifying and Managing Nova Scotia Hardwoods) to essays (Alder Music and September Christmas) to illustrated children’s books (The Brook and the Woodcutter). His most recent book is My Life with Trees: A Sylvan Journey.

My Life with Trees

Gary Saunders’ most recent book is My Life with Trees: A Sylvan Journey. It’s a unique memoir of 30 chapters, each focused on a particular species of tree and on his memories of people associated with that tree. The book, illustrated with Gary’s own paintings and drawings, seamlessly blends science and memory in graceful and resonant prose and beautifully illustrates the depth of Gary’s understanding, not only from his own scholarship and observation but also from the Indigenous people around him. The book recently won the Evelyn Richardson award.