2015 Hamilton Environmentalists of the Year Award Winners Announced

Hamilton’s Environmentalists of the Year Awards Committee is pleased to announce this year’s Environmentalists of the Year award recipients. These awards recognize the dedicated efforts of citizens, businesses and organizations to improve the environment in our community in 2015.

The Dr. Victor Cecilioni Award for the Environmentalist of the Year recognizes long-term efforts that create a significant impact in the community and there are two recipients:

  • A posthumous award honours the contributions of Kate Andrus, who started a grass-roots campaign called “Trash the Garbage Plant” protesting the Port Fuels Project in Hamilton Harbour. Due to her hard work, dedicated research and leadership skills, she exposed the potential environmental dangers of the proposed gasification plant. Kate’s life was dedicated to the preservation of the environment and to inspiring those around her to do the same.
  • The second award recognizes Wayne Terryberry, a long-time McMaster University employee who has spent 20 years teaching university students about outdoor education and recreation. A member of a number of committees including the Ontario Trails Council and the Hamilton Conservation Authority Conservation Advisory Committee, Wayne has changed the lives of innumerable staff, students and community members through his passionate commitment to the environment and the outdoors.

A Lifetime Achievement Award will be awarded to Chris Firth-Eagland, CAO of Hamilton Conservation Authority, for over 30 years of environmental action both in his personal and professional lives. As a natural leader, his dedication to environmental causes has been held in high-esteem, even during his early beginnings with Hamilton’s Parks Department. Chris conceived a number of ideas focused on bringing the community and the environment together, including the development of the waterfront and the Waterfront trail and the Hamilton Beach Trail.

Several Awards of Merit recognize a variety of environmental action activities of citizens and groups from across the community:

  • St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary School for their commitment and participation as an Ontario Certified EcoSchool, earning six Gold and four Platinum certifications.
  • Beautiful Alleys, founded by Brenda Duke and Carlos Pinho, for work in reviving public spaces into safe, sustainable, and beautiful public pathways.
  • Cara Contardi, founder of Urban Wildlife Care, for her efforts in wildlife rehabilitation. Located on her personal property, Urban Wildlife Care is the only wildlife rehabilitation facility from Niagara to Mississauga.
  • Peter Thoem for his long history of volunteerism with the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and community involvement, as well as his desire to encourage the love of bird watching and nature enjoyment.
  • Greg Lenko and the “Escarpment Project” for his organization of numerous clean-ups along the Bruce Trail as well as other trails along the Hamilton escarpment.
  • Robert Perkins, known by some as “Albion’s Angel”, for his steadfast commitment to keeping Hamilton’s waterfalls and waterfall trails litter-free.

The Awards will be presented at the 37th Annual Environmentalists of the Year Awards Dinner on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016, at the Michelangelo Banquet Centre at 1555 Upper Ottawa Street in Hamilton. Refreshments will begin at 5:30 PM, and dinner will be served at 6:45 PM.

Anyone interested in celebrating Environment Week and the environment in Hamilton is invited: tickets are $35 (tax included) and must be purchased in advance by June 3. Tables for eight or ten can be reserved. Tickets are available at Royal Botanical Gardens’ Shop (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily) or in the city centre of the city at Environment Hamilton, 22 Wilson Street #8, (905) 549-0900, or by emailing contactus@environmenthamilton.org.

Who sponsors the EOY Awards?
The Environmentalists of the Year Awards and Dinner have been held each year for 37 years. An independent committee of community members judges the nominations. The Awards program is co-sponsored by the Conserver Society of Hamilton and District, the United Nations Association in Canada-Hamilton Branch, the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, Environment Hamilton, Royal Botanical Gardens, Friends of Red Hill Valley, and the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club with support from the Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Bay Area Restoration Council. For additional information on the Awards Dinner, please call (905) 547-5116 or look for us on Facebook.

For media information, contact:

John Struger – john.struger@sympatico.ca
Barbara McKean – bmckean@rbg.ca