top of page

Our Team

Shawn McKnight -Co-ordinator for Return the Landscape

Larry Cornelis -Habitat Specialist/ Horticulturist

Larry grew up in Sarnia, Ontario, but his passion for nature was born in the summers spent on his grandparents’ farm near Wallaceburg, Ontario. Larry has been married for 40 years and has 1 daughter, Becky, of whom he is very proud.


He is a certified horticulturist and owned his own landscaping business before joining Return the Landscape as Habitat Specialist in 2009. He is a sought after flora and fauna inventory consultant. Larry has been active over the years with many naturalist clubs and associations including Lambton Wildlife Inc. and the Sydenham Field Naturalists, both of which he has served as President and Director. He is a popular speaker for clubs and associations across southwestern Ontario and in Port Huron. Larry has been involved in many Conservation projects big and small and was responsible for restoring a 25 acre wetland/meadow/woodland complex on the family farm just north of Wallaceburg. His many Conservation awards (e.g. Russel Piper Award, Carolinian Canada conservation award, several awards from Lambton Wildlife, and others) are testament to his unfailing support of and work for Nature.

Nick Alexander -Landscape Technician and Designer

Having always been fascinated by nature and gardening, it seemed fitting for Nick to eventually seek out work related to these interests. He completed the Horticulture Technician program at Algonquin College(Ottawa) in 2012 and since has moved back to his hometown of Sarnia to work with Return the Landscape as a Landscape Technician/Designer.  He is thoroughly impressed with the diversity of life in Southern Ontario and is passionate about discovering and preserving what is left.  Nick loves how varied his job is, but his favorite part is finishing a landscaping job and then seeing the plants grow year after year. 

"I used to make artwork about nature. Now I make nature."


Shawn McKnight works and lives in Sarnia-Lambton as an ecological artist and social entrepreneur; speaking and exhibiting at a number of institutions - including the National Gallery of Canada and the Richard Ivey School of Business. Shawn works collaboratively with others to combine ecological awareness and creativity to promote sustainable living. He believes in creating a sense of community; a local economy that works to enhance the environment. His work celebrates nature and communicates these essential ideas through his art.


Shawn truly embodies his beliefs; he is an active board member in several local cultural organizations. He is co-founder of Sarnia Artwalk and the Community Native Plant Garden located at Davis and Christina streets and founder of Return the Landscape, a native plant rescue and restoration program.


In 2007, Shawn was placed on the Mayor’s honour roll for his accomplishments. In 2009 he received the Suncor Sustainability Award and in 2010 his work was recognized by the Ontario Heritage Trust.

bottom of page