Conservation Committee of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club : Environmentalist of the Year – 1988

The Dr. Victor Cecilioni Award for the 1988 Environmentalist of the Year was shared by the Conservation Committee of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and John Norris.

The Conservation Committee, established in 1984, is a committee of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. Its members in 1988 were John Struger (Chairman), Rob Dobos, Christine Bishop and Brian McHattie.


Clockwise, starting top: Brian McHattie, John Struger, Christine Bishop, Rob Dobos.

With the support of Naturalists’ Club members, the Committee in 1988 was continuing its efforts to preserve and enhance natural habitats for wildlife in our Region, through public education and participation in a number of significant projects.

In the summer of the previous year, the Committee organized the release of six Peregrine Falcons through a hacking project at Mohawk College. The falcons, an endangered species, were released as part of a continuing program to increase their numbers in the wild. The release of the falcons was successful in attracting media attention and thereby heightening public awareness of the plight of this endangered species.

In April of 1988, the Committee, together with the Royal Botanical Gardens, co-sponsored a day “Naturefest”, which featured speakers, demonstrations and displays on natural history and current environmental issues.

In May, in cooperation with the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority, the Committee organized volunteers and participated in the annual Clean Up Day of natural areas in the City.

The Committee had been an active participant as a stakeholder in the efforts to develop a Remedial Action Plan for Hamilton Harbour. The Committee members had taken part in round table discussions with industry, government agencies and other citizen groups aimed at developing a consensus on the goals for the harbour, and has prepared recommendations on remedial measures for protecting wildlife habitats in the Harbour.

The Committee had also coordinated the cataloguing of the distribution of reptiles and amphibians within a 25 mile radius centred in the City of Hamilton, for inclusion in the Herpetofaunal Atlas.

The work of the Conservation Committee is a tribute to the commitment of its members and to the members of the Naturalists’ Club whose participation is key to the success of the activities organized by the Committee. Hamilton-Wentworth is the beneficiary of the dedication of the Committee members to preserving our natural environment.