On June 24, 2015 Niagara residents, community groups and school programs were awarded for their contributions to the environment.
The Niagara Region Environmental Awards are one of the longest-running Environmental Awards programs hosted by any municipal government in Ontario.
As a teacher at Connaught Public School in St. Catharines, Tara has mentored and taught her classes to be more aware of the ways they affect their immediate environment.
Tara has twice coordinated with other organizations to plant multiple trees in the schoolyard. She also organizes, with the assistance of her class, different activities for the whole school to celebrate Earth Day.
She engages her students through real life activities that encourage respect for the environment and she also empowers her students to participate in making a positive difference for others and the environment around them.
Young People's Award, Elementary Age Category
St. Mary Catholic School, Niagara Falls
St. Mary Catholic School in Niagara Falls promotes and educates both students and parents on the importance of improving and maintaining an ecofriendly school and home environment.
This year, St. Mary has made a positive difference by implementing many excellent ideas, including the waste-free lunch challenge. The program encourages students to pack a waste-free lunch by using reusable carriers, reusable containers and reusable utensils.
The school has also started the ‘ban the bottle campaign’ by eliminating the use of plastic bottles and increasing the use of reusable drink bottles.
Young People's Award, Secondary Age Category
Madeline LeBlanc finished her first year at the University of Waterloo in pursuit of an Environment and Resource Studies Degree.
In Grade 11 and 12 Madeline was on the Welland Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council, and helped run events for youth in Welland. Her favourite event is ‘Earth Day Evolution’ where Merritt Island is cleaned up.
She also actively promotes environmental awareness and conservation on social media, to help share her passion for the environment.
Madeline hopes to one day find a career in environmental protection with Parks and Recreation, hopefully in Niagara. She believes that Niagara has an amazing environment and wants others to be aware of how rare and special it is.
Green Non-Profit Award
The Green Non-Profit Award recognizes a government agency, institution or non-profit organization for its contribution to maintaining a healthy environment
Niagara Region and Goodwill Niagara have partnered together on an Attended Donation Centre at the Humberstone Landfill, which offers people a last chance to donate before entering the landfill.
In 2014, Goodwill Niagara kept over six million pounds of usable items out of the landfill, and received donations from over 120,000 very generous people.
Green Business Award
This year’s Green Business Award goes to Horizon Utilities in recognition of its innovation and environmental consciousness for its 12 Mile Creek vegetation project.
The project, which wrapped up in July 2014, saw close to 5,000 plants consisting of native wildflowers, grasses and shrubs planted in the 12 Mile Creek corridor near Hillcrest Avenue.
The planting initiative will provide a better quality habitat for area wildlife, and will make the trails safer and more enjoyable for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.