TORONTO, June 11, 2022 /CNW/ – Ontario Nature, a leading environmental organization, recognized the exceptional contributions to nature conservation made by individuals and organizations. Their dedication and hard work others to protect nature in Ontario.
This year, the awards celebrated eight winners. The recipients are building a natural legacy for future generations and are owed a debt of gratitude for their tireless efforts.
The winners are:
Dr. Jacqueline Litzgus, the recipient of the Ontario Nature Conservation Leadership Award, was honoured for her major contributions to our knowledge of species at risk biology and conservation planning. An expert on turtles and snakes, Dr. Litzgus has contributed to many species at risk reports for provincial and federal species at risk committees.
George Thomson and Elizabeth Churcher are the co-winners of the Ontario Nature Education Award. This husband-and-wife duo have taught science in the Hasting County area for many years and have inspired countless young people to advocate for conservation. George and Elizabeth reside on a 100-acre farm in rural Tweed that they converted into a nature reserve.
Jane Fogal was awarded the Ontario Nature Public Service Award. Fogal is a Councilor for Halton Hills and serves on the Halton Regional Council. She was instrumental in convincing the Council to declare a climate emergency. Fogal also helped convince her fellow regional councilors to protect 5,200 acres of prime farmland from development.
Kurt Hennige received the Ontario Nature Natural History Award for his tireless efforts to protect wild birds in Ontario. Hennige has participated in surveys and studies to establish data records for many species and deepen our knowledge of the natural world.
Victor MacBournie was awarded the Ontario Nature Media and Conservation Award for his website on nature and gardening. Upon retiring from the Hamilton Spectator, Macbournie devoted his time to his website, “Ferns and Feathers,” publishing a series of compelling newsletters.
The Toronto Zoo received the Ontario Nature Corporate Award for their involvement in conservation projects across Ontario. From protecting Blanding’s turtles to educational campaigns, the Toronto Zoo has played an integral role in conservation across the province.
Richard (Dick) Rafel was the recipient of the Steve Hunsell Greenway Award for the instrumental role he played in the establishment of Laurier Woods – a 250-acre natural area in North Bay. Even though he is approaching 90 years of age, Rafel still leads public bird walks in Laurier Woods.
Ally Zaheer and Devin Mathura are co-winners of the Ontario Nature Youth Leadership Award for successfully defending the Lower Duffins Creek Wetland in Pickering, Ontario from a proposed development under a Minster’s Zoning Order.
For more information, visit: ontarionature.org/conservation-awards.
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.
SOURCE Ontario Nature