35th EOY Awards Dinner – Recipients and Pictures

The Hamilton Environmentalists of the Year Awards recognize the dedicated efforts of citizens, businesses and organizations to improve the environment in our community.

The Dr. Victor Cecilioni Award for the Environmentalist of the Year recognizes long-term efforts that create a significant impact in the community and the 2013 recipient is Tÿs Theÿsmeÿer, Head of Natural Lands at Royal Botanical Gardens. An aquatic ecologist by training, Tÿs has been involved in habitat restoration efforts in Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise since 1997, playing an important role in the efforts of the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan’s implementation team and the Bay Area Restoration Council. Many in the community have seen Tÿs in action at the Cootes Paradise Fishway, and in many media stories reporting last year’s Bald Eagle nesting success at RBG.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Brian Reid for his forty+ years of efforts to raise awareness on environmental and social justice issues through his active participation in a variety of community groups and committees, including the Environmentalist of the Year Awards, which he has helped organize for over 30 years.

This year’s Betty Blashill prize winner was an essential part of multiple community organizations. Warren Beacham is the long-time sanctuary director of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and their Head of the Lake Land Trust. He is co-chair of the Dundas Valley Tree Keepers, and current treasurer of the Giant’s Rib Discovery Centre, the Stewards of Cootes Watershed and the Conserver Society of Hamilton and District – and those are just his official positions! Just at the HNC his behind the scenes work includes tracking the tax rolls, the management plans, the tool inventories, the skilled volunteer base, the wolfy old trees and the unique young saplings. He also directs the herds of volunteers towards the heaviest infestations of garlic mustard and facilitates the management of the miles and miles of trails through HNC properties for accessibility and safety.

Three Awards of Merit were presented to:

  • Brian Montgomery for his efforts to guide the community and City staff involvement in addressing climate change locally through Clean Air Hamilton and the Upwind, Downwind conference, and Hamilton’s Community Climate Change Action Charter (Ontario’s first).
  • Swamp Line 9 for their courageous efforts to take action and raise community awareness about potential environmental impacts of plans to reverse the flow of Line 9 in Hamilton and beyond.
  • Maria Brenyo, Deb Falcao, Lucy Hunt, Carm Passaro and Marina Simpson (aka “The Platinum Blondes”), Enviro-Reps teachers/educators from the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic Public School Board, who led their schools to Platinum EcoSchool certification.