Winners of Environmental Leadership Awards06 November 2012
FREDERICTON (GNB) – A presentation was held today in Fredericton to honour the 2012 Environmental Leadership Award recipients and poster contest winners.
“Through this initiative, we are able to recognize these achievements as we highlight the importance of protecting our environment,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch. “Sharing these initiatives will encourage further environmental stewardship and will have a positive impact on our province. Others can be motivated to follow in the footsteps of those recognized today.”
This year's recipients are:
● Individual Youth – Meagan Betts, Youth Environmental Leader;
● Youth Group – The Sacred Garden Team, Devon Middle School;
● Individual – Pamela Fowler, Municipal Nature Park;
● Business – Rhoda Welshman, ReAction Events;
● Communities, Groups and Organizations – Tobique River Team, Tobique First Nation Community Clean-Up; and
● Lifetime Achievement – Ralph Simpson, Youth Mentorship.
Fitch also announced the winners of the poster contest who illustrated an environmental theme. The winners are:
● Sophie Landry, Save the World; and
● Natasha Barna, Je suis ta Terre.
The awards are presented annually to individuals, communities, groups and businesses that demonstrate exceptional leadership in the enhancement and protection of the environment. A panel of independent judges selected the recipients.
Information about the awards is available online.
2012 Environmental Leadership Award recipients
Meagan Betts – Fredericton
Youth Environmental Leader: A former student of Fredericton High School, Betts dedicated much of her time to enhancing environmental awareness at her school and in her community. She led the school Environmental Club and introduced such ideas as Motorless Mondays, vermiculture composting and a reduced car prom. Outside of school, Meagan chaired the Youth Environmental Action Network.
Devon Middle School – Fredericton
The Sacred Garden Team: In 2011, the Sacred Garden Project was established at Devon Middle School. While promoting a sustainable organic garden, this Outdoor Classroom aims to educate the students and the community about the importance of traditional First Nations' medicines. As students move through the process of germinating the seeds, maintaining and tracking their growth, and transplanting their seeds into the Garden Classroom, they also discover, through traditional teachings, a connection to the Earth, agriculture, history and sustainability.
Pamela Fowler – Riverview
Municipal Nature Park: An environmental science teacher at Riverview High School, Fowler is committed to teaching her students about the environment while using applied approaches to help them identify with the high school curriculum. She initiated the Mill Creek Project, which had her class propose a nature park in Riverview that would connect to the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. Her students surveyed the proposed park, completed water testing and botanical surveys, and presented their findings to the town council.
Rhoda Welshman – Saint John
ReAction Events: Concerned for the environment and seeing a niche that needed to be filled, Welsman launched a business, ReAction Events. Focusing on environmentally-friendly parties and events, she aims to reduce the use of plastic products while providing unique, personalized party supplies for her clients. Welshman offers eco-friendly products that are handcrafted and sustainable. Not only are the decorations, table ware, and treat bags environmentally friendly but her parties promote both creative and physical activity.
Community, Group and Organization
Tobique Riverbank Team – Tobique First Nation
Community Clean-up: The Riverbank Team of Tobique First Nation was formed after a need for riverbank stabilization work was identified. Following this project, the team started to look at the community as a whole, and when an opportunity to work with the Valley Solid Waste Commission arose, they led the way. Working together, the team and the commission cleaned up illegal dumpsites in the community, posted signs discouraging dumping and cleaned streams and banks along the river. This spurred the community to promote a clean environment and to hold community clean-up days as well as the clean-up of the demolition site of an old school.
Ralph Simpson – Fredericton
Youth Mentorship: An ecologist and forest pathologist, Ralph Simpson is committed to environmental restoration and youth mentorship. For more than 20 years he has volunteered to develop, obtain funding, lead and execute environmental projects. He has been involved with The Fredericton Backyard Composters, the Fredericton Area Watersheds Association, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Canadian Environment Awards Community Award. Simpson also worked on the Bur Oak Project, where he trained and worked with youth to restore at-risk native species of trees, and the Children's International Summer Villages, where he was an environmental mentor, leading annual trail and stream clean-ups.