Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Eco-heroes walk among us: individuals and groups from across Ontario recognized for leadership in conservation

(Toronto, Ontario, July 3, 2014) – On June 21st, Ontario Nature, a leading conservation organization, recognized the exceptional contributions to natural habitat protection made by seven individuals and two groups. The award ceremony was part of Ontario Nature’s 83nd Annual General Meeting and Gathering that took place at YMCA Geneva Park, located on the shores of Lake Couchiching.

The deserving award recipients are:

Tom Lobb, a local farmer and lifelong naturalist, received the Ontario Nature Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the organization.

Tom has been involved with wood turtle monitoring and protection for at least a decade, and has played a vital role in queen snake surveys in the Maitland River. He is also a long-time steward of Ontario Nature’s George G. Newton Nature Reserve south of Goderich.

Andrew Reeves, a political writer, geographer, environmentalist and reporter with Queen’s Park Briefing, received the Carl Nunn Media and Conservation Award for effectively communicating important conservation issues.

As a Queen’s Park reporter, Andrew brings media attention to conservation issues and to the work of Ontario Nature whenever the opportunity arises. Last year alone, Andrew wrote six articles about devastating changes to the Endangered Species Act and Ontario Nature’s efforts to prevent these changes.

Craig Campbell, a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists, received the W.W.H. Gunn Conservation Award for demonstrating outstanding personal service and a strong commitment to conservation.

Craig has devoted his working life to the study of Ontario’s natural heritage, and has played a major role in documenting the occurrence of many endangered species. Most notably, he was instrumental in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo’s adoption of environmental planning and the identification of Environmentally Sensitive Areas. In addition, Craig has contributed to countless citizen sciences initiatives including censuses, surveys and atlases.

Kyle Clark, a leader within the Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario, received the Richards Education Award for engaging people in nature awareness and protection.

Over the past 15 years, Kyle has made a personal, professional and academic commitment to outdoor and environmental education. As a leader in organizations and initiatives, both at the local and provincial level, he has advocated for an experiential mode of learning which connects students with the natural world and teaches them the importance of protecting our environment.

Kyle initiated the Canadian Student Outdoor Education Conference to help students conducting research in this field build to academic relationships and be part of a professional learning community.

River Murray, a young naturalist with Lambton Wildlife, received the Margaret and Carl Nunn Memorial Camp Scholarship Award for displaying a strong interest in natural history and impressive leadership abilities.

River has participated in many of her club’s activities including clean-ups and dune grass planting at Canatara Beach in Sarnia. She is a great asset to Lambton Wildlife and encourages young kids to get involved.

Donald J. Kerr received the Ian Shenstone Fraser Memorial Award for innovative work that contributes to the preservation of the Niagara Escarpment.

Don is a long-time champion of Silver Creek Wetland within the towns of Collingwood and The Blue Mountains, and is leading the campaign to transfer this wetland from private to public ownership. Don also led the Blue Mountain Watershed Trust’s opposition to inappropriate development in a number of areas on the Niagara Escarpment and around Collingwood.

Mark Eastman received the J.R. Dymond Public Service Award for public service work resulting in exceptional environmental achievement.

Mark has led numerous private land stewardship initiatives that help landowners understand the importance of pasture and manure management, invasive species control, wetland fencing, and habitat protection. Under Healthy Lands for Healthy Horses, Mark connects landowners to funding and service providers for the implementation of best management practices.

His open and honest approach has resulted in long-term buy-in and strong relationships between landowners and Credit Valley Conservation, Mark’s employer. Mark’s newest program, Bird Friendly Hay, will build on the relationships he has worked so hard to establish.

Bruce Trail Conservancy, an organization committed to protection and sustainable enjoyment of the Niagara Escarpment, received the Steve Hounsell Greenway Award for its contribution to Ontario Nature’s Greenway efforts.

The conservancy exemplifies the vision and achievements that are essential to establishing a greenway of protected habitat cores and corridors across southern and eastern Ontario. Since 1974, the conservancy has secured 9,637 acres of land along the Bruce Trail.

CKL Flora, a project designed to document the flora of the City of Kawartha Lakes, received the W.E. Saunders Natural History Award for making a significant contribution to natural science research. Anne Barbour and Dale Leadbeater accepted the award on behalf of the project’s 125 volunteers.

Project participants have collected five years’ worth of data as well as plant specimens from 89 Kawartha properties. Approximately 1,600 of these specimens are part of the Royal Ontario Museum’s permanent herbarium collection. CKL Flora is an example of the leadership and volunteerism that is so essential to the protection of Ontario’s wild species and spaces.

For more information on these award recipients or to arrange an interview with one of them, please contact:

Colleen Cirillo
Communications Coordinator, Ontario Nature
(416) 444-8419 ext. 238
colleenc@ontarionature.org

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 150 member groups across Ontario (charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit www.ontarionature.org.

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