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News Release

Durham Region recognizes local environmental achievement

WHITBY, ON May 12, 2017

The Durham Environmental Advisory Committee’s (DEAC) prestigious 2017 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 David Hogg for being the driving force behind the Ajax Environmental Advisory Committee’s participation in the Adopt-a-Park Program, which encourages citizens to participate in caretaking of their local public spaces. Mr. Hogg has been a member of the Ajax Environmental Advisory Committee for three years and is its current Chair. Through his leadership, the Ajax Environmental Advisory Committee has adopted one kilometre of trail in Ajax. He has also been active in advocating for other advisory committees to participate in the program by presenting at their meetings.

The Dr. J. Murray Speirs Restoration Award for the restoration of degraded natural environments was presented to Ducks Unlimited Canada – Ontario Office for pioneering new techniques and bringing innovation to restore over 200 hectares of Provincially Significant Wetlands in Durham Region. Ducks Unlimited, through various partnerships across Durham, have managed water levels at Cranberry Marsh in Whitby by installing a stop log structure; worked to restore Oshawa Second Marsh by rerouting Harmony Creek and constructing an earthen dyke; and have partnered with the Bowmanville Marsh Restoration Project to improve the wetland.

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 Shadyway Farms for being a leader in no-till farming systems and hosting a “Crop Technology Day” to demonstrate the practices they have adopted to other farmers. Shadyway Farms established a no-till farming system in 1990. The practice of no-till farming reduces erosion, increases water retention, and improves soil health. They are committed to sharing their knowledge with other farmers, enabling and encouraging others to adopt the same system.

Two selections were made for the Eric Krause Innovative Plans/Policies/Initiatives Award for forward-thinking efforts to encourage positive change, with respect to the natural environment. Port Granby Nature Reserve Proposal was presented the award for developing an ecological restoration and conservation landscape with an “Ecology First” vision for a 270 hectare, former low-level radioactive waste site. This initiative was a collaborative project among the Municipality of Clarington, the Municipality of Port Hope, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, and the community. It identifies a vision for the site that will create a lasting legacy from the Port Granby Project by restoring and enhancing native ecosystems; enhancing Waterfront Trail linkages; and providing an opportunity for environmental education and research.

The Eric Krause Innovative Plans/Policies/Initiatives Award was also presented to the Town of Ajax for their commitment to reducing the town’s carbon footprint through the implementation of a suite of various initiatives, including: establishing a green municipal fleet and transition to electric vehicles; an anti-idling by-law and awareness campaign; adoption of a Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan with infrastructure added each year; participation in The Active and Safe Routes to School Program; host of Durham’s first electric vehicle car show; creation of the #GetAjaxMoving campaign; and participation in the Smart Commute Program.

The Jessica Markland Partnership Award for co-operative efforts to enhance the environment involving public, community and private interests, was presented to Habitat for Humanity Durham for being the lead agency, partnering with local charities and the Region of Durham Waste Management Division, on the “Reuse Days – Pass it On” initiative. Reuse Days include the acceptance of household products, construction and renovation material, as well as textiles and household goods. This initiative provides an opportunity for residents to divert unwanted items from landfills and into the hands of local charities. In 2016, participating charities collected over 20 tonnes of reusable materials.

The Evylin Stroud Lifetime Achievement Award for the continued promotion of protecting the environment, through small, but meaningful ways, was presented to Carolyn Gray for her commitment over the last 10 years in establishing, maintaining, and promoting a composting program at Durham Alternative School. Ms. Gray is a Department Head and teacher with the Durham District School Board of Education at Durham Alternative School. More than 10 years ago, she introduced a composting program to the school. She arranged to have the compost bins taken from the school to a home in Durham Region to be picked up each week. During the school year, six or seven green bins are filled weekly, diverting that organic waste from the landfill.

For more information on the awards program, please visit www.durham.ca/deac.

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For more information, please contact Corporate Communications.