Hay may be for horses, but it’s also for the birds—just ask Mark Eastman. His latest undertaking is the Bird Friendly Certified Hay program; a project that provides habitats for threatened grassland bird species.

His work is well-respected and was recently duly rewarded. Mark received the J.R. Dymond Public Service award presented by Ontario Nature during its 83nd Annual General Meeting on June 21st. Mark was nominated by Bridget Ryan, a local equine operator and Credit River watershed stewardship champion.

According to Ontario Nature, Mark received the award because “his open and honest approach [to environmental stewardship] has resulted in long-term buy-in and strong relationships between landowners and Credit Valley Conservation.”As the program coordinator for agricultural extension at CVC, Mark is extremely well-versed in the lay of the rural and agricultural lands in our watershed. He has been active in a number of programs aimed at empowering landowners to conduct environmental projects on their properties. Beyond Bird Friendly Certified Hay, Mark and the Rural Outreach team have created many opportunities for landowner education, including:

Mark’s hard work proves that when you invest time in improving nature, nature always finds a way to give back. Well done Mark.

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