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News Release

Durham Region recognizes local environmental achievement

WHITBY, ON May 15, 2015

The Durham Environmental Advisory Committee’s (DEAC) prestigious 2015 Environmental Achievement Awards were handed out last night, during a special ceremony at The Regional Municipality of Durham Headquarters in Whitby.

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.

The George A. Scott Stewardship Award for the maintenance, protection or preservation of the natural environment, was presented to Craig, Chris and Grant Mustard of Musthaven Farms Ltd. for the implementation of many on-farm environmental improvements and a commitment to environmental awareness. Notable improvements include: completing an Environmental Farm Plan; constructing a steel tank for manure storage; precision tilling; and adopting GPS for fertilizer application. These have helped Musthaven Farms Ltd. reduce soil erosion, better control runoff, and decrease leaching of nutrients.

The Dr. J. Murray Speirs Restoration Award for the restoration of degraded natural environments was presented to Valleys 2000 for leading the development, design, fundraising and construction of a natural design fish by-pass channel to replace an existing fish ladder at the Goodyear Dam on the Bowmanville Creek. A new bridge and trail were constructed, in addition to adding accessibility features, in order to enhance access to the creek. The by-pass channel has helped to rehabilitate traditional spawning grounds along the Bowmanville Creek and protect against invasive species.

The Irene Kock Education/Communication Award for fostering effective communications, sharing knowledge or exhibiting leadership in helping others to learn about the natural environment was presented to the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade for providing educational opportunities and awards to its members through its EcoBusiness program. This program encourages members to adopt more sustainable business practices by providing education, tools, and support to do so.

The Eric Krause Innovative Plans/Policies/Initiatives Award for forward-thinking efforts to encourage positive change, with respect to the natural environment, was presented to Sunderland Co-operative Inc. for helping to fund and pilot NWATCH, a new Nitrogen Management Strategy. This program helps avoid overspreading and over application of nitrogen, thereby reducing nitrogen loss to the environment and greenhouse gases. Building on the success of the pilot, more than 50 sites are expected to participate in 2015.

The Jessica Markland Partnership Award for co-operative efforts to enhance the environment involving public, community and private interests, was presented to General Motors (GM) of Canada Ltd. & the Oshawa Assembly Plant for establishing partnerships with various organizations to deliver environmental programing. GM partnered with the Friends of the Second Marsh to plan a celebration around the return of migratory birds and provide a community learning opportunity at the Feathered Friends Festival. In addition, GM partners with various schools in the community to teach students about aquatic ecosystems through their GM GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network) program.

The Evylin Stroud Lifetime Achievement Award for the continued promotion of protecting the environment, through small, but meaningful ways, was presented to Barbara North for her contributions to the environment, specifically the wetlands and marshes of Durham Region. Ms. North was instrumental in the City of Oshawa's Parks Department decision to purchase the Pumphouse Marsh lands, which will now be protected for future generations. Ms. North is also a founding member of the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (OEAC), a board member of the Oshawa Garden Club, and actively participates in various community environmental projects.

For more information on the awards program, visit the Region’s website at www.durham.ca/deac.

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.