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© Lora Denis
Award winners (left to right): Andrew Reeves, Dale Leadbeater and Anne Barbour of CKL Flora, Beth Gilhespy of Bruce Trail Conservancy, Kyle Clarke, Donald J. Kerr, Mark Eastman, Graham MacDonald for Craig Campbell, and Tom Lobb.
On June 21, Ontario Nature recognized the exceptional contributions to the protection of wild species and spaces made by seven individuals and two groups. The awards ceremony was part of the 83rd annual gathering that took place at YMCA Geneva Park on the shores of Lake Couchiching.
Tom Lobb, a farmer and lifelong naturalist, received the Ontario Nature Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the organization. Lobb is a steward of the George G. Newton Nature Reserve south of Goderich and has assisted with turtle recovery projects and queensnake surveys.
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. Last year alone, Reeves wrote six articles about measures – and Ontario nature’s response to them – that have weakened the Endangered Species Act.
Craig Campbell, a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Field Naturalists, received the W.W.H. Gunn Conservation Award for demonstrating outstanding personal service and commitment to conservation. Campbell has devoted his working life to the study of Ontario’s natural heritage and was instrumental in the adoption of environmental planning and the identification of environmentally sensitive areas in Waterloo.
Kyle Clarke, a leader in outdoor education, received the Richards Education Award for engaging people in nature study and protection. A strong advocate for experiential learning that connects students with nature and instills a conservation ethic, Clarke initiated the Canadian Student Outdoor Education Conference.
River Murray (not pictured above), 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. Murray has participated in many club activities, including cleanups and plantings, and regularly encourages young people to get involved with Lambton Wildlife.
Donald J. Kerr received the Ian Shenstone Fraser Memorial Award for innovative work that contributes to the preservation of the Niagara Escarpment. Kerr is a long-time champion of the 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.
Mark Eastman received the J.R. Dymond Public Service Award for public service work resulting in exceptional environmental achievement. Eastman has led numerous private land stewardship initiatives that help landowners understand the importance of invasive species control, wetland fencing and habitat protection.
Bruce Trail Conservancy, an organization committed to the 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 Ontario.
CKL Flora, a project designed to document the plant life of the city of Kawartha Lakes, received the W.E. Saunders Natural History Award for its contribution to natural science. Project participants have collected five years’ worth of data, as well as plant specimens, from 89 Kawartha properties. CKL Flora is an example of the leadership and volunteerism that is essential for the protection of Ontario’s wild species and spaces.