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Conservation Leaders in Ontario Recognized for their Work Protecting Nature

Ontario Nature’s Conservation Award Recipients Announced

Common loon © Andrew Reding CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

ONTARIO, June 7, 2021 – Ontario Nature celebrated 90 years of protecting wild species and spaces at its annual gathering and conservation awards ceremony on June 12, 2021. This year, Ontario Nature recognized the exceptional contributions to natural habitat protection made by organizations, individuals and companies. Their dedication inspires everyone to continue to fight to protect nature in Ontario.

The winners are:

Ontario Nature Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to the activities of Ontario Nature to John Lounds who served for six years as Executive Director of Ontario Nature then as Chief Executive Officer of Nature Conservancy of Canada until stepping down in 2020.

W. E. Saunders Natural History Award for achievement in natural history research to Owen Clarkin for spearheading an extensive survey of remnant habitat of rare red spruce in eastern Ontario with hundreds of hours of volunteer fieldwork.

Richards Education Award for helping people understand the natural world to David Hawke for many years in nature education as interpretive naturalist at Wye Marsh Wildlife Interpretive Centre and subsequently at Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area, part-time instructor at Georgian College and Lakehead University, and writing nature columns in local newspapers.

W.W.H. Gunn Conservation Award for outstanding commitment to nature conservation over many years to Karen Yukich for her dedication to the restoration and conservation of nature in Toronto’s High Park.

Ian Shenstone Fraser Memorial Award for making a significant contribution toward a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Ontario to Don and Marnie Ross for helping establish the UNESCO Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve and working with land trusts to expand natural protected areas within the Frontenac Arch.

Carl Nunn Media and Conservation Award for effective communication on conservation issues in the media to Leah Gerber who, as a reporter for the Waterloo Region Record newspaper, writes stories focusing on the Grand River Watershed.

Lee Symmes Municipal Award to a town, city or municipality for implementing programs that protect the natural environment to the City of Kingston for declaring a climate emergency, and implementing numerous nature-based solutions and climate change mitigation measures.

J.R. Dymond Public Service Award for public service that resulted in exceptional environmental achievement to Bruce MacKenzie for extensive efforts to restore a decommissioned sewage lagoon to a natural wetland known as the Grimsby Wetlands.

Ontario Nature Corporate Award for an organization demonstrating outstanding action in the environmental field to Ontario Power Generation – Wesleyville for actions to improve nature conservation including restoration activities at Wesleyville Creek for brook trout, monitoring and research at Wesleyville coastal marsh and bluebird, tree swallow and wood duck nesting box and osprey platform program.

The Steve Hounsell Greenway Award for working to preserve a natural heritage system core area or corridor to Land Over Landings for working to preserve the rich farmland and natural heritage features of the former airport lands in north Pickering.

Margaret and Carl Nunn Memorial Camp Scholarship for youth showing interest and leadership potential in natural history to attend Nature Camp at Camp Kawartha to Sarah Inglis, a 14-year-old resident of Cobourg who helps with Willow Beach Field Naturalist activities, and is interested in birds and other wildlife.

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For more information, visit: ontarionature.org/conservation-awards

Media inquiries contact:

Melina Damian
Ontario Nature, Communications Coordinator
melinad@ontarionature.org, 416-854-4780

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 155 member groups across Ontario. ontarionature.org