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Remembering Rhea Dawn Mahar, Evergreen design consultant

Rhea Dawn Mahar was a vital part of Evergreen’s national network of experts working with school communities to transform their school grounds.

Rhea Mahar.
Top image caption: Rhea Dawn Mahar (3rd from left) was a key member of Evergreen's design consultant team.

Published on February 12, 2018

Rhea Dawn Mahar

Evergreen Design Consultant (1996 – 2017)

1959 – 2017

Our dear friend and colleague Rhea Dawn Mahar passed away suddenly on December 19th 2017. Based in Halifax, she was a vital part of Evergreen’s national network of experts working with school communities to transform their school grounds. She was deeply committed to the work of improving conditions for children, increasing their contact with nature and bringing their outdoor play and learning to life. She leaves us with a strong and growing relationship with the province of Nova Scotia and legacy of greening projects she supported that blanket Nova Scotia. This web page has been created to share some images and words from friends and colleagues to celebrate her life and legacy.

Illustration of Rhea Mahar.

We encourage you to share a memory or tribute of Rhea by sending your words and pictures to Cam Collyer.

Rhea was a mentor and great inspiration to me as well as a colleague and friend. From the day I met her I was reassured that the work we were doing was important for future generations and her love of children was always at the heart of it. RIP Rhea – Dolores Altin – former Evergreen Design consultant – Vancouver

A group photo from a school design forum in 2012.
I was so shocked and saddened with the news of Rhea's passing. The world has lost a wonderful woman who touched so many with her passion to make change and with endless energy! I was only able to share time with Rhea when she visited Toronto for Evergreen School Ground Greening forums with fellow colleagues, but always felt so happy to catch up on our past year's accomplishments. My mom's side of the family are all Nova Scotians and Rhea always had a special place in my heart as she represented the wonderful place she called home. 

May you all continue to share the wonderful memories you have of Rhea and know that she has touched so many across our country. 

With deepest sympathy - Kim Napier - former Evergreen Design consultant – Halton

Rhea was such an inspiration and I had great admiration for her energy and passion. It was a privilege to know her as a colleague and I always enjoyed seeing her in Toronto with Evergreen. My deepest sympathies to the family she loved so dearly. – Claudia Bolli - former Evergreen Design consultant – Edmonton

Photo from school design forum.

Rhea will be dearly missed by all who knew her. It was a privilege working with Rhea over the past 17 years. She was the kindest, most generous, fun-loving person. I hope it brings some comfort knowing Rhea touched the lives of so many, and her legacy will live on. – Krista Long – Evergreen Design consultant – Kitchener/Waterloo


When I think of Rhea, I picture a ray of sunshine. Her passion, creativity and sense of humour touched her colleagues, the community and the local landscape. She will be missed and remembered with a smile. My heartfelt sympathies go out to Rhea’s family and all those whose lives she touched. — Lisa Fisk, former Evergreen Project Manager 


Rhea was an Evergreen colleague who for over 10 years shared with me her passion for her work, her concern for others in times of need, and wonderful Evergranny stories. During forum presentations we often sat together where she would make faces to get me into trouble, where her interest in friendships was so real, and her love of what she did so apparent & so honest. She loved her family and her community, loved where she lived and its physical presence in her life. In one memorable conversation I had with her, she was on her way to a work site, and she rolled down her window so I could hear the ocean and she could tell me what it smelled like.  Rhea, the world is a poorer place without you in it, but a richer one because of your journey through it. You will be remembered with fondness. – Wendy, Evergreen design consultant –​​​​​​​ Winnipeg.