Media Release


Conservation heroes win Ontario Nature awards

Prince Edward County Field Naturalists and five individuals recognized for leadership in the protection of nature

(Newmarket, Ontario, June 12, 2013) – This past weekend, Ontario Nature, a leading conservation organization, recognized the exceptional contributions of five individuals and one conservation group to natural habitat protection through the organization’s Conservation Awards.

Naturalists from across the province participated in Ontario Nature’s 82nd Annual General Meeting and Gathering at Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve. Situated just north of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the reserve’s rolling hills and forested ridges are a refuge for wildlife.

The deserving Conservation Award recipients are:

Tom Cosburn – Ontario Nature Achievement Award
Awarded to a member who has made an outstanding contribution to the activities of Ontario Nature.
Tom Cosburn has submitted more than 2,000 frog and toad recordings to Ontario Nature’s Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, making him one of the program’s top contributors. He is a passionate advocate for amphibian conservation.

Prince Edward County Field Naturalists – W.E. Saunders Natural History Award
Awarded to an individual or group that has achieved a significant goal related to natural history or natural science research, raising public awareness of natural history, demonstrating local leadership, saving a natural area, or generating conservation funds or publications.
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists were part of a successful effort to have the south shore of the county designated an Important Bird Area. Recently, the group has been working tirelessly to raise public awareness of the environmental threats posed by proposed wind turbines at Ostrander Point. The group is currently appealing the Ministry of the Environment’s 2012 approval of the Ostrander Point project to the Environmental Review Tribunal.

Philip Gosling – W.W.H. Gunn Conservation Award
Awarded to an individual who demonstrates outstanding personal service and a strong commitment to nature conservation over a number of years with exceptional results.
Philip Gosling played a significant role in the founding of the Bruce Trail in the early 1960s. Later, he contributed to the broad recognition of the importance, protection and preservation of the Niagara Escarpment and its eventual designation as an UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Chris Earley – Richards Education Award
Awarded to an individual who has succeeded in helping people understand the natural world and become enthusiastic supporters of conservation and environmental protection.
Chris Earley has been a dedicated educator of natural history for over 25 years – both as a committed volunteer, and an interpretive biologist and education coordinator at the Guelph Arboretum. He is passionate about helping people respect, understand and become enthusiastic supporters of nature and conservation.

Jarmo Jalava – The Steve Hounsell Greenway Award
Awarded to an individual, group or organization that contributes to the Greenway vision.
Jarmo Jalava is a life-long naturalist and current director of ecosystem recovery for the Carolinian Canada Coalition. He has worked to connect habitats by writing more than 120 reports and leading initiatives across the province. Recently, Jalava has focused on the fragmented Carolinian region where he has shown exceptional leadership and a deep reverence for nature.

Don McLean – J. R. Dymond Public Service Award
Awarded to an individual who shows distinguished public service that resulted in exceptional environmental achievement.
For the past 25 years, Don McLean has been a tireless volunteer advocate for conservation throughout the Hamilton area. He is probably best known for his dedicated efforts, as former chair of the Friends of the Red Hill Valley, to oppose construction of the Red Hill Valley Expressway. McLean is an inspiration and resource for everyone concerned about the conservation of natural heritage in Hamilton and beyond.


For more information on the recipients, to arrange an interview, or for photos of the award recipients, please contact:

Colleen Cirillo
Communications Coordinator, Ontario Nature
(416) 444-8419 ext. 224

Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and 140 member groups across Ontario (charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit

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