The Regional Municipality of Durham


News Release

Durham Region recognizes local environmental achievers

WHITBY, ON May 9, 2014 – The Durham Environmental Advisory Committee’s (DEAC) prestigious 2014 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 Environmental Stewardship Pickering (ESP) for their work to enhance and improve environmental awareness in Durham Region. ESP co-ordinates several annual events; seasonal gardening workshops; tree planting; and litter clean-up events. ESP promotes stewardship in their community, providing knowledge-based skills through ongoing education to groups and individuals with the goal of assisting them with community environmental projects.

The Dr. J. Murray Speirs Restoration Award for the restoration of degraded natural environments was presented to the Municipality of Clarington, Engineering Services for their restoration of a tributary in the Soper East Subwatershed. This tributary flowed along the ditch of Bragg Road before passing under the road through a bridge/culvert. Conditions along this section of the watercourse were severely impacted by a lack of vegetation, as well as from normal road use and maintenance. As part of the project to rehabilitate the bridge/culvert and widen the road, the watercourse was realigned to move it further from the road; resulting in the creation of a new stream channel. This channel design incorporated features to enhance aquatic habitat and reduce negative impacts, including a meandering stream with riffles and pools, and a variety of stream bank plantings to improve habitat.

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 Pickering Ajax Citizens Together Protecting our Waterfront for promoting environmental awareness and engaging the public at local events. Over the past year, members have worked to draw public attention to the causes, impacts and solutions for declining water quality along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

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 Lakeridge Health, Engineering Department for the development of a custom energy retrofit project. This project included 29 energy conservation measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), including solar panels, high-efficiency lighting, heating and cooling co-generation and building automation systems. The project is self-funded and is paid for with the generated savings. The combined energy conservation measure will reduce GHGs by 2,078 metric tons each year (comparable to taking 310 houses off the grid annually).

The Jessica Markland Partnership Award for co-operative efforts to enhance the environment involving public, community and private interests, was presented to Carol Cavallari, The Table by Carol for collaborating on various projects with local partners to present an evening speaking series. Cavallari worked with volunteers to start We Grow Food (WGF), which is focused on food bank clients and ensuring that everyone has access to fresh vegetables. This includes hosting a bi-weekly Trading Vegetable Market, during harvest season, which works on a “no-waste” and “sharing-the-harvest” philosophy.

The Evylin Stroud Lifetime Achievement Award for the continued promotion of protecting the environment, through small, but meaningful ways, was presented to Joseph Nilsson-Fletcher for his enthusiastic work to protect the environment and increase waste diversion in his community. Nilsson-Fletcher is a Grade 6 student, with Autism and Tuberous Sclerosis, who regularly helps at home and school to recycle and compost properly; has many toy garbage and recycling trucks; and is concerned about garbage that hasn’t been properly discarded.

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

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