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Conservation Awards

Stop Bill 66 Rally, Ajax © Kevin Thomason

Recipients for 2020-2021

Community involvement defines Ontario Nature’s character and approach. Together with our member groups and individual members, we are the voice for nature in Ontario and are building a natural legacy for future generations.

This year, the awards celebrated 11 inspirational and industrious winners. Please join us in congratulating and thanking the recipients for their vital contributions to nature conservation. 

Monarch butterfly © James Wheeler

John Lounds

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.

John Lounds © Mike Ford

Owen Clarkin

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.

Owen Clarkin © Jakob Mueller

David Hawke

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.

David Hawke © Juliana Hawke

Karen Yukich

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.

Karen Yukich © Bob Yukich

Don and Marnie Ross

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.

© Don and Marnie Ross

Leah Gerber

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.

© Leah Gerber

City of Kingston

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.

© Julie Salter-Keane / City of Kingston

Bruce MacKenzie

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.

© Bruce MacKenzie

Ontario Power Generation – Wesleyville

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.

Ontario Power Generation - Wesleyville © Ashley Fox

Land Over Landings

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.

Land Over Landings signage © Alexis Edghill Whalen

Sarah Inglis

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.

© Sarah Inglis


If you have any questions, please email Barbara MacKenzie-Wynia at barbaraw@ontarionature.org.

Ontario Nature is committed to equity, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility.

Lost Bay Nature Reserve