Who won Durham local environmental achievement awards

The winners of the Durham Environmental Advisory Committee’s (DEAC) 2021 Environmental Achievement Awards were recognized Thursday night, during a special virtual ceremony.

Established in 2003, the award categories—named in memory of past environmental leaders—recognize and acknowledge environmental achievements of individuals and organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors within Durham Region. The program is intended to recognize efforts to promote, preserve and enhance the local environment. This year, the Lois James Leadership Award and the John G. Goodwin Sustainable School Award were added, said a regional statement.

The George A. Scott Stewardship Award for the maintenance, protection or preservation of the natural environment, was presented to Friends of Beaverton Park, represented by Sarah Cowley, for their community-minded creation of the Beaverton Blossom Trail.

The Dr. J. Murray Speirs Restoration Award for the restoration of the natural environment was presented to Keith Stait-Gardner for his reforestation initiative on 152 acres of cattle pasture.

The Irene Kock Environmental Awareness Award was presented to Sailwinds Sustainability Project for their development of a condominium community incorporating their Guiding Principles on Environmental Sustainability. This award recognizes fostering effective communication, sharing knowledge and exhibiting leadership in helping others learn about the natural environment.

The Eric Krause Innovation Award was presented to Podium Developments Building Capital (Ironwood Community) for the sustainable restoration of an 11-acre site and the incorporation of natural features into a low-density residential development. This award celebrates forward-thinking and innovative efforts to encourage positive change through plans, policies, or initiatives related to enhancing the natural environment.

The Jessica Markland Partnership Award was presented to Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation for their collaboration with the ZooShare Biogas Co-operative for their supportive efforts to enhance the environment by building partnerships with public, community and private interests.

The Evylin Stroud Lifetime Achievement Award for the continued dedication of protecting the environment, was presented to Jim Richards for his contributions to the environment as Founder of the Friends of Second Marsh and for his involvement in the creation of the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve.

Two selections were made for the Lois James Leadership Award, which recognizes an elementary or secondary school student for their contribution to the protection of Durham’s environment. This award was presented to Kylah Jane Ritchie for promoting the importance of battery recycling and to Charlize Harper and Alexis Brown for their Earth Day community clean-up.

In future years, the committee looks forward to receiving nominations for an eighth award, the John G. Goodwin Sustainable School Award which will recognize one elementary and one secondary school that has gone above and beyond to make a positive impact on the environment through student education and/or stewardship.

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