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Larry Cornelis receives conservation award

By Trevor Terfloth,
Chatham Daily News,
June 7 2017

A long-time advocate for environmental stewardship in Lambton-Kent was recently recognized for his efforts.

Wallaceburg's Larry Cornelis received the Ontario Nature Achievement Award, which was presented by the non-profit group Ontario Nature.

The award ceremony, which took place Saturday in Innisfil, was part of an Ontario Nature event celebrating the group's 86th anniversary.

“It's a great honour to be able to get that award and be recognized,” Cornelis said on Wednesday.

Cornelis has served as president of Lambton Wildlife and the Sydenham Field Naturalists and currently serves on their boards.

He is a sought-after speaker for various naturalist clubs and gardening groups throughout Southern Ontario, and leads hikes for Lambton Wildlife’s young naturalists group and Sarnia Girl Guides.

Cornelis said he's proud of being involved in the protection of ecologically significant habitat.

While he said more volunteers are always needed, he believes many people are getting the message. He also appreciated all the donors who've assisted the cause over the years.

“I think we're getting the word out,” he said. “There's a lot of public outreach and education. You can't expect everyone to be a volunteer, but their support is a big thing too.”

He was one of the nine individuals and one organization that were honoured.

“These conservation heroes have gone above and beyond to protect wild species and wild spaces, fighting to preserve Ontario’s natural beauty,” the organization stated in a release.

The award winners include:

Ontario Nature Achievement Award: Larry Cornelis
W.E. Saunders Natural History Award: Dorothy Tiedje
Richards Education Award: Karen Bateman and Marilyn Swaby
W.W.H. Gunn Conservation Award: Bill McIlveen
Ian Shenstone Fraser Memorial Award: Joe Johnson
Carl Nunn Media and Conservation Award: Shawn Micallef
Lee Symmes Municipal Award: Mayor Robert Burton, Oakville
J.R. Dymond Public Service Award: Beverly Kingdon
Ontario Nature Corporate Award: Wild Ontario
The Steve Hounsell Greenway Award: Michael Barnstijn & Louise MacCallum

TTerfloth@postmedia.com

@DailyNewsTT

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