Carolinian Canada Conservation Awards 2013 | Carolinian Canada

Carolinian Canada Conservation Awards 2013

Jo-Anne Rzadki, Carolinian Canada awards committee, Liz Benneian, Oakville Green Conservation Association, Dr. Jane Bowles, Karen Brock, Oakville Green Conservation Association, Donald Craig, Laura Martineau, Assumption Catholic Elementary School, Mary Smith, Kim MacGregor, Assumption, Jim Smith, Rahul Mehta, Clare Tofano, principal at Assumption, Olivia Pocknell, student at Assumption, Ailish Newhouse, student at Assumption, Jane Hanlon, Alice Casselman, Carolinian Canada awards committee

2013 Carolinian Canada Award Recipients. Hover over the photo for details.

photo: Jennifer van Overbeeke.

The Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement

Jane Bowles
Jim and Mary Smith
Donald Craig
Alice Casselman

Group

Friends of the Rouge Watershed (FRW)
Oakvillegreen Conservation Association

Individual

Vince D’Elia
Jane Hanlon

Youth

Assumption Catholic Elementary School
Rahul Mehta

Chair's Award

Peter Banks

photos provided by recipients

Lifetime Achievement

A group or individual that has contributed exceptionally over many years.

Jane Bowles Jane is a passionate and dedicated ecologist who has been working to preserve habitat and advance scientific knowledge for over thirty years. Dr. Bowles is Adjunct Professor in both Biology and Geography at the University of Western Ontario, where she is also Director of the Sherwood Fox Arboretum and Curator of the UWO Herbarium. The impacts of Jane’s work can be seen across Southwestern Ontario in protected lands, populations of threatened and endangered species, in libraries, in classrooms and in government policy. Some of her many conservation accomplishments include developing a Conservation Master Plan for the City of London, preparing countless natural heritage inventories, the Walpole Island Ecosystem Recovery Strategy, annual research and monitoring work at Long Point research station, authoring or co-authoring over 25 scientific publications, and founding the Thames Talbot Land Trust. Jane’s work in education has inspired students to pursue careers in conservation, influenced the attitudes of citizens and raised awareness of environmental issues in Ontario.
Jim and Mary Smith

Niagara Region

Since they started growing Christmas trees on their Pelham property 40 years ago, Jim and Mary Smith have demonstrated outstanding efforts to support naturalization of Carolinian Canada. In 2012 they signed a Conservation Easement with the newly formed Niagara Land Trust so that should the land be sold, the new owner is bound to steward the property in partnership with the Niagara Land Trust as set out in the Conservation Agreement. Jim and Mary have committed to using their property upon request for public education. As the property is adjacent to the St. Johns Outdoor Learning Centre and has a historic value as part of the St. John’s Spring Creek history this is again a generous gift for future generations. Jim has been a long time member of the Friends of Shorthills Park and the Niagara Woodlot Association. The Smiths have been working with Niagara Conservation Authority on a plan for Riparian work on a portion of a branch of the Twelve Mile Creek that runs through their property, in an effort to support one of Ontario’s few remaining cold water creek systems and the natural habitat of the speckled trout.
Donald Craig Donald Craig began his career with the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority in 1971 as an environmental planner. Since then, he has worked there as everything from a flood forecaster to a community relations supervisor up to his retirement in 2008. Mr. Craig started SCRCA’s Conservation Services Program in 1980. Over 2.5 million trees have been planted since then. He expanded this program to include a woodlot management service for landowners. He also completed forest inventory and management plans for all of the Authority owned lands – what his SCRCA peers describe as “a monumental task.” Considered a forestry expert in this province, Donald has served in countless initiatives including: the Rural Lambton Stewardship Network, Canadian Remedial Action Plan Implementation Committee, Wildlife Habitat Council and the Lambton County Woodlot Owners Association, which he founded.
Alice Casselman

Toronto

Alice has dedicated her work to helping communities through participatory activities to engage in protecting and caring for the environment. In 1987 she founded ACER, the Association for Canadian Educational Resources, to develop and to encourage the development of Canadian materials for Canadian learners. This followed her 35 year teaching career. A science department head for most of that time, she also was staff person for weekend education at the Toronto Region Conservation Authority for 20 years and a member of writing teams for the Etobicoke Biology Curricula and Outdoor Education and Resource documents. Alice was founding member, later the chair of the Council of Educators of Ontario (COEO), founding director and assistant instructor of the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School (COBWS) and founding teacher of Etobicoke School of Arts (ESA). She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Carolinian Canada Coalition.

Group

An organization, partnership or project that has contributed greatly towards the conservation of natural heritage within the Carolinian life zone

Friends of the Rouge Watershed

Toronto

Friends of the Rouge Watershed (FRW) is a community-based ENGO that is working towards the vision of a healthy Rouge River Watershed and a 100 square - kilometer Rouge National Park which protects and expands one of Canada’s northernmost Carolinian sites.Over the last twenty years, FRW has restored 300-plus hectares of public Rouge watershed and park lands by planting more than 625,000 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers with the help of more than 47,000 youth and community volunteers. FRW is receiving the Community Award for their work with Rouge Park, TRCA and many volunteers to restore the Reesor Wetland, in the future Rouge National Park. Planted with over 60,000 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers and over 100kg of native tree grass and flower seed, the Reesor Wetland area is now a thriving wetland and forest complex. The Reesor Wetland is now home to many Carolinian species such as American Sycamore and Carolinian Redbud. Nationally and provincially rare species include dense blazing star and breeding pairs of pied billed grebe. A viewing lookout on the east side of Reesor Road, just North of the Toronto Zoo, provides nature photography and bird watching opportunities. The Reesor Wetland demonstrates the importance of protecting and restoring habitat, ecological health and biological diversity in Canada’s endangered Carolinian Life zone.
Oakvillegreen Conservation Association

Oakville

Oakvillegreen is a citizen-volunteer-led, community-oriented environmental organization formed in 2000 to tackle environmental issues ranging from energy conservation to Zero Waste and Urban Planning. The Association’s track record with conservation issues is far-reaching, from initiating an annual community tree-planting campaign called Groundbreakers (14,000 native trees planted and counting), to being Ontario’s first community with a Natural Heritage System. This latter achievement has led to higher standards for preservation and restoration in the approval process for property development. Oakvillegreen works with thousands of volunteers to enhance and restore the urban forest on public property, in their backyards and schools. Oakvillegreen’s record of successes has led to the creation of sister associations such as Burlingtongreen and Miltongreen.

Individual

Individuals who have contributed exceptional work towards the conservation of natural heritage within the Carolinian life zone.

Vince D’Elia

Etobicoke

Vince D’Elia graduated from York University in Environmental Studies in 1998 and then attended Fleming College’s ecosystem management technician program. After a stint with the Credit River Anglers’ Association, he began his work at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). His roles over the past years have evolved from team leader in the watershed division’s environmental services to his position today as project manager in the Etobicoke-Mimico watersheds. His most notable current project is the Heart Lake Road Ecology Project, which aims to find a solution to the high rates of mortality of amphibians and reptiles that migrate between wetlands along Heart Lake Road. Vince sits on the TD Friends of the Environment Etobicoke chapter and the board of directors of ACER headquartered at the Humber College Arboretum. He continues to maintain a close relationship with Fleming College, mentoring students starting their careers in the environmental field.
Jane Hanlon

Niagara Region

As founder and executive director of Climate Action Niagara (CAN), Jane Hanlon is one of the region’s most tireless climate change advocates. Working with a strong corps of over 250 members and volunteers, she has built many community projects from the ground up: Community Gardens Network, Urban Forest Committee, School Scapes Planting 4 Change, the Eco Fest Niagara Trade Show, the Heritage Tree Hunt, and most recently, the Fruit Tree Trail. On top of all of that, in her spare time Jane volunteers as a director of Land Care Niagara and facilitates workshops and events for the Niagara Community Gardens Network.

Youth

A group or individual encouraging youth participation in the environment.

Assumption Catholic Elementary School

Niagara Region

Assumption School came in first in the Niagara Catholic School Boards when rated among their sister schools in the Ontario Eco Schools program. The students at Assumption have gone above and beyond by adopting many animals and trees. They continue to fundraise hundreds of dollars to give to WWF to save owls, tigers and polar bears. Some of the proceeds were recently used to raise 60 butterflies. In addition, the students are very committed to saving the environment by providing a daily eco tip to the school and every Wednesday students bring a litter-less lunch to school. At Assumption, the class with the week's top waste-reduction results in the Waste Free Lunch Challenge gets the honour of a "golden garbage pail."
Rahul Mehta

Peel Region

As a longtime active member of the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA) and as a PEYA Facilitator at Ecosource, Rahul has ensured that stewardship activities are maintained as a core opportunity for youth in Peel. In 2012 and 2013 he organized six stewardship events for youth across Peel Region. As the coordinator of the EcoBuzz Conference, he and the PEYA Executive ensured increased access among Peel youth to the many opportunities offered by community partners to choose sustainable actions in Peel - from alternative transportation to urban agriculture to electrofishing. Rahul is highly committed to participating in municipal and provincial planning strategies and to increasing access among other youth to these strategies to ensure conservation values are front and centre. Throughout his many various roles at the University of Toronto at Mississauga campus, Rahul helped maintain a focus on stewardship and sustainable planning on campus including cycling, naturalization, sustainable food production, to name but a few.

Through Rahul’s work in the Credit and Etobicoke/Mimico watersheds, he supports 500 youth annually in tree-planting and park stewardship activities. His enthusiasm for native plant, animal and insect life, as well as innovative solutions for sustainable community planning is contagious.

Chair's Award

Peter Banks Peter Banks of Brights Grove in Lambton County has worked for more than two decades as a strong supporter of nature conservation activities in Carolinian Canada. He has given many years of effort to Lambton Wildlife Incorporated. He has been an absolutely critical person in the development of Carolinian Canada Coalition, most notably for his tireless efforts as a financial officer, board member and leader in the work to set up the Coalition as an incorporated charitable organization. Without his efforts, nature conservation in Carolinian Canada and the rising status of the Coalition would not be as promising as they appear to be today. In sum, Peter Banks is an exceptional volunteer who has devoted his life to long-term and visionary contributions to conservation.
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