Read our Six-Part Weekly Series Highlighting the 2023 Conservation Award Recipients
Part Four: Landowner Stewardship Award and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award Winners
In our fourth week of our Conservation Matters: Award-Winning Work in the Credit River Watershed series we’re highlighting two categories: our Landowner Stewardship Award and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award winners.
The Landowner Stewardship award is issued to those implementing restoration projects that increase natural cover and improve aquatic, terrestrial and wetland habitat on private lands.
First Landowner Stewardship Award Recipient
Our first recipients of the Landowner Stewardship Award were Gary and Debbie Mountain. They have demonstrated passion for stewardship over the last 20 years on Wildfire Farm in Caledon, a property farmed by their family for 200 years.
Since 2016, Gary and Debbie have planted more than 2,000 potted trees and shrubs on sensitive lands, completed six Agricultural Best Management Practices projects, established and maintained vegetated buffers along 1.2 kilometres of ravine bank and stream riparian area, and reduced soil compactions.
The Mountains’ were also one of the early adopters of the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) Peel Pilot, which seeks nature-based solutions for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. Gary and Debbie are restoring key natural features on their farm, contributing to the overall health of the watershed.
Second Landowner Stewardship Award Recipient
Sohail and Birha Farooqi also received the Landowner Stewardship Award for transforming their 7.3 hectare property in Erin by planting 1,250 trees, filling a 0.76 hectare gap in the forest canopy and increasing habitat for local wildlife. They also completed a Forest Management Plan for 5.57 hectares of woodland that will protect it for the next 10 years.
The Farqooi family earned the award for their strong stewardship ethic, completing the project in a two-year timeframe. Their actions have supported environmental improvement worth over $5,800. This work contributes to the health of the environment and increases natural features in the watershed.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award
The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award recognizes and celebrates leadership and initiatives that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion; engaging and supporting people of diverse backgrounds and cultures to participate in environmental activities that support a sustainable future. This is the first year CVC has offered this award.
Punjabi Community Health Services received the award for their commitment to provide programs that connect immigrants and senior with nature and outdoor recreation.
The organization engages their clients from diverse backgrounds through field trips to several CVC parks where they educate on the value of natural spaces and provide experiences that contribute to clients’ health and well-being. They have also provided opportunities for tree plantings, walking tours and environmental-themed presentations. These opportunities help inspire a connection to the natural environment, build a sense of community and support environmental learning opportunities for new Canadians.
Check back next week when we highlight our Corporate Leadership Award winners.
Nominations Now Open!
We are accepting nominations for this year’s conservation awards. Submission deadline is Feb 20, 2024. Learn more about Our Conservation Awards program or nominate someone today!