Celebrate with Us

Our Friends of the Credit Conservation Awards honour the important work being done in our watershed. We celebrate our partners and neighbours that share our vision of a thriving environment that protects, connects and sustains us.

Make the effort to recognize environmental effort! Nominate an individual or organization for a Friends of the Credit Conservation Award.

Award Categories

Nine award categories recognize the hard work and accomplishments of those who make a positive impact in the Credit River Watershed.

Eligible: Individuals and groups under age 29

Recognizes: Those under 29 years of age, striving to be future environmental champions.

Eligible: Individuals and groups

Recognizes: Those who generously give personal time to protect, connect and sustain our local natural environment.

Eligible: Individuals and groups

Recognizes: Those who connect communities with nature through education and outreach to promote environmental awareness, appreciation and action.

Recognizes: Those implementing restoration projects that increase natural cover and improve aquatic, terrestrial and wetland habitat on private lands.

Eligible: Corporations and businesses

Recognizes: Those corporations and businesses that take action and adopt new and creative approaches to plan for an environmentally sustainable future.

Eligible: Individuals, groups and public entities

Recognizes: Those public entities that implement leading edge green infrastructure in new development and existing urban areas.

Eligible: Individuals and groups

Recognizes: 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.

Eligible: Individuals, groups, corporations and businesses; excludes government agencies.

Recognizes: Those who donate land or funds to purchase land, ensuring its long-term protection.

Eligible: Individuals, groups, corporations and businesses

Recognizes: Those with a sustained record of achievement and commitment. Their ongoing leadership and dedication will leave a legacy of inspiration.

NOTE: This most prestigious award is only given in extraordinary circumstances. It may not be given every year.

Eligibility Requirements and Award Criteria

Nominees must meet eligibility requirements to be considered for an award. To be eligible to win an award, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Project and/or activities must contribute to the protection, connection and sustainability of the Credit River Watershed.
  2. Award recipients can be nominated in subsequent years, however any project can only be awarded once.
  3. Self-nomination is allowed when submitted with a letter of support.
  4. Award recipients cannot be an active CVC board member or staff, or have been acting as a board member or staff while undertaking the activities for which they are being recognized.
  5. Award recipients must be in good-standing with CVC’s planning policies and regulations.
  6. Projects and activities must align with CVC’s values that demonstrate inclusive and respectful practices and integrity through ethical decision making.

Nominations are vetted by CVC staff and reviewed by a sub-committee of the CVC Board of Directors. Awards will be given to an outstanding project, individuals or groups in each category that meet the following criteria:

  1. Alignment with CVC’s vision of a thriving environment that protects, connects and sustains the Credit River Watershed.
  2. Leadership and the ability to influence and inspire the community.
  3. A lasting contribution to create environmentally resilient communities for future generations.
  4. Values diverse perspectives, work experiences, lifestyles and cultures.

2024 Award Winners

We are proud to recognize our award winners!

Aaran Thangavadivel received the Youth Achievement award for his commitment to environmental conservation and stewardship. As an 11-year-old, Aaran shows leadership in his community by planting trees and attending litter cleanup events, while inspiring his peers and family to take action.

Tanjot Grenwal received the Youth Achievement award for her dedicated leadership to support a healthy environment by planting native plants, removing invasive species and teaching other youth about environmental issues. She has also mentored other young environmental leaders and created opportunities for them to get involved. Tanjot’s most notable project is the Youth Water Advocate Initiative for young people in the Credit River Watershed.

Don Trant received the Outstanding Volunteer award for his significant volunteer hours and contributions as Chair of Trees for Halton Hills. Don has sought funding, managed board administration and organized events that have led to thousands of new trees being planted in the Credit River Watershed.

Julie Power received the Outstanding Volunteer award for her significant contributions as an avid volunteer in CVC’s Butterfly Blitz program. She contributed almost 1,400 butterfly sightings over five years, making her the top observer of almost 600 citizen scientists. Her data collection contributed to a watershed-wide inventory of butterflies collected by CVC. Julie has also volunteered with Halton-North Peel Naturalists Club, the Halton Butterflyway, the Halton Seed Library, Georgetown Horticultural Society and supports CVC’s Hungry Hollow SNAP program.

Heather Shaw received the Outstanding Volunteer award for her commitment to support and preserve nature at The Riverwood Conservancy. Since 2010, Heather has been a Stewardship Committee member and is the current president of The Riverwood Conservancy’s board, where she makes a positive impact on sustainability and protection initiatives developed and implemented at The Riverwood Conservancy.

Prabhjot Kainth received the Environmental Awareness for her work to raise awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainability practices within the local South Asian community. She actively educates senior residents through Seniors Clubs, sharing knowledge about Canadian wildlife and ecosystems. She has also organized cleanup events and promoted sustainable development goals that have helped her foster a sense of environmental responsibility in the community.

Gary Hall received the Environmental Awareness award for his volunteer work with the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club. Gary has devoted his time to lead hikes since 1995, where he imparts his knowledge of nature and educates participants on protecting and sustaining green space and the value of biodiversity.

Irene Mota received the Environmental Awareness award for her dedicated work with CVC and The Riverwood Conservancy on various environmental programs. Since 2014, she has helped coordinate new and innovative programs in her role as Student Success Coordinator with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board to engage and educate students about the environmental issues.

Jo-Anne Van Huisseling received the Landowner Stewardship award for her work with CVC to enhance and restore her property’s natural features. She supported the removal of a weir, a human-made, small barrier built across a stream or river to raise the water level on the upstream side. This helped improve the function of Mill Creek and reconnect fish habitats. Jo-Anne also worked with CVC to complete a Landowner Action Plan, identifying other areas on her property that can be restored and enhanced, leading to further plantings to build wildlife corridors and improve biodiversity.

Brad Teeter received the Landowner Stewardship award for his work with CVC to restore the cultural meadow on his property, re-establishing a variety of native grasses and wildflowers. The grassland now provides better habitat for native pollinators, like the at-risk monarch butterfly and grassland birds.

Anthony and Cristina Kerstens received the Landowner Stewardship award for transforming their three-hectare property that was once dominated by large lawns and old fields. Now, over 1,200 trees and shrubs are planted throughout previously open areas. The Kerstens’ developed an Action Plan for their property through CVC’s Landowner Outreach Program. Their strong stewardship ethic is evident by continually battling invasive plants to maintain biodiversity and recently taking measures to protect groundwater by replacing their failing septic system with an advanced tertiary system.

Steven and Eva Hill received the Landowner Stewardship award for their commitment to transform over three hectares of their property to support wildlife and help fight climate change. To date, they have planted over 5,000 trees, established a large native meadow and they were one of the first farms in Peel to take part in the ALUS Program. Two generations of the Hill family have managed the Hill farm since 2017.

Canon Canada received the Corporate Leadership award for their commitment to improve the Credit River Watershed by sponsoring a rain garden at St. Joseph School in Mississauga. Canon has also partnered with CVC since 2016 on stewardship activities as part of the company’s Branch Out Program, a volunteer environmental initiative that provides employees an opportunity to give back to the community they work in. Each year, Canon staff take part in a variety of environmental stewardship activities at several CVC events.

Ardent Mills received the Corporate Leadership award for their work with CVC’s Greening Corporate Grounds program to implement a series of stewardship actions on a property they own along the Credit River in Streetsville. This property was a former site of a milling operation since the mid-1830s. They incorporated sustainability throughout all phases of their business, including agriculture, operations, procurement and transportation. Ardent Mills took steps to conserve waters, lower fertilizer usage, reduce energy and incorporate renewable energy and optimize fuel usage.

City of Brampton received the Green Cities award for the Grow Green Recognition Program, which was developed under the city’s Grow Green Environmental Master Plan (EMP). The program acknowledges the efforts of residents, organizations, developers and businesses that actively contribute to their green city. It also showcases local champions that take action to advance progress towards each of the core components of EMP, including people, air, water, land, energy and waste.

Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board received the Green Cities award for their work with CVC to build two rain gardens in Brampton’s established Fletchers Creek SNAP neighbourhood. The school board’s willingness to transforming its school playgrounds from turf grass to rain gardens has shown their commitment to a healthy environment. The rain gardens will offer a host of benefits, including limiting the amount of water that enters local stormwater systems, helping to reduce flooding, helping with soil rehabilitation, creating pollinator habitat and helping beautify school grounds.

City of Mississauga received the Green Cities award for their Build Beautiful Stormwater Master Plan, which outlines actions and recommendations for managing rainwater over the immediate and long-term in Mississauga. This multi-generational plan will help protect businesses and residents while preserving the natural environment by refining approaches to issues facing the city, including flooding and water quality. The vision of the Master Plan outlines that through collaboration, we can build value in water resource to protect and enhance the quality of our built and natural environment.

Prabhjot Kainth received the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion award for her ability to communicate with different demographics, showing her dedication to ensure everyone in the community is well-informed about environmental, social and political topics.

Dr. Pat Kelly received the Watershed Excellence Award, CVC’s most prestigious Conservation Award, for decades of volunteer service. Pat’s volunteer work spans many environmental organizations including Trout Unlimited, the Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Club, Halton-Peel Woodlands and Wildlife Stewardship and CVC. Pat has contributed to environmental protection by planting thousands of trees, removing invasive species, taking part in litter cleanups, fish surveys and monitoring trout spawning. He has also helped the local community by planting pollinator gardens, building and installing garbage kiosks and installing educational signage.

Dr. William McIlveen received the Watershed Excellence award, CVC’s most prestigious Conservation Award, for 37 years of dedicated environmental leadership through data collection and leadership. William has shared his passion for learning and the environment through knowledge transfer on a variety of subjects, including clams, microbes, climate change and energy cycling in vernal pools. He has also organized projects and surveys in Georgetown and Halton Hills that have continued since 2001. In 2015, William submitted over 111,900 observation records to CVC of species in the Credit River Watershed. He is also the author of The Natural History of Rattray Marsh, a compendium of the flora, fauna and physical characteristics of Rattray Marsh.

Previous Award Winners

Winners in 2023

Award CategoryRecipient
Youth AchievementFrontline Program
Mississauga Youth Seed Library
Outstanding VolunteerDavid Reid
James Crawford
Trees for Halton Hills
Krystyna Tracewicz
Environmental AwarenessMary Kate Whibbs
Janette Roy
Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
Derek Stone
Pam Sheldon and Sean James
Landowner StewardshipGary and Debbie Mountain
Sohail and Birha Farooqi
Corporate LeadershipKeuhne+Nagel
Good Lot Farmstead Brewing Co.
Region of Peel
Halton Region
R&M Construction
Diversity, Equity and InclusionPunjabi Community Health Services
Watershed ExcellenceKaren Ras

Winners in 2022

Award CategoryRecipient
Youth AchievementLukasz Padiasek
Outstanding VolunteerMaria Pakulnicka and Patricia Griesser
Lynn Sinclair Smith
Jutta Holdenried
John Monczka
Environmental AwarenessAdam Tompkins, Julie Orazem, Heather Little and Scott Richards
Steve Noakes
Credit Valley Trail Indigenous Roundtable
Anwar Knight
Blooming Boulevards
Landowner StewardshipMark and Nancy Latam, and Margaret Burt
Dufferin North Peel Anglers and Hunters Association
Wendy Walgate and Duncan Glaholt
Whole Village Property Co-Operative Inc.
Corporate LeadershipIMAX Corporation
Diamond Tree Care
Green CitiesMichael Hoy, Pam Cooper and Derek Currie
Region of Peel and R.V Anderson Associates Limited
Watershed ExcellenceJim Muscat

Winners in 2021

Award CategoryRecipient
Youth AchievementDeon Singh
Outstanding VolunteerJanice McClelland
Environmental AwarenessMichael Sklad
Landowner StewardshipSarah Mailhot
Corporate Leadership1) Four X Development
2) Global Investment Bank and Financial Services (Citi)
Green CitiesTara Day-Orzechowski (Glendale Public School), Adam Tompkins (Peel District School Board) and Michael Hoy (City of Brampton)
Legacy Donor n/a
Watershed Excellence Gavin Dandy

Winners in 2019

Award CategoryRecipient
Youth AchievementDipen Goyal
Outstanding VolunteerWarren Young
Environmental AwarenessDr. Premek Hamr
Landowner StewardshipBartley, Ann and Mary Bull
Corporate LeadershipLakeview Community Partners Limited
Green CitiesCity of Mississauga
Legacy Donorn/a
Watershed ExcellenceSylvia Bradley

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