Friends of the Credit Conservation Awards

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2019 Award Recipients

Youth Achievement Award

Deon Singh received the Youth Achievement Award for his commitment to CVC’s Frontline Steering Committee (FSC) and Conservation Youth Corps (CYC) programs. Deon volunteered more than 130 hours towards environmental outreach and restoration projects through CYC. In addition, he helped educate more than 250 of his peers through FSC’s outreach events that inform about the importance of protecting and conserving nature. Deon has also taken an active role at the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation donor luncheon and CVC funder meetings to advocate for corporate funding in support of youth leadership programs.

 Outstanding Volunteer Award

Janice McClelland received the Outstanding Volunteer Award for more than 30 years of dedicated service with the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC). Throughout her tenure, Janice has taken on several leadership roles within the organization, including Vice-Chair, Chair and Director-at-Large on the Board. She also served as the Chair of the Fundraising Committee, where she led fundraising efforts and public education initiatives that helped BTC acquire land and protect nature for future generations of trail users.

Environmental Awareness Award

Michael Sklad received the Environmental Awareness Award for his commitment to the Fishing Friendzy program where he connects families with nature and teaches ethical angling practices. Michael was also recognized for his work with the SAFE (Sponsor a Fishing Experience) program which gives underprivileged kids, people with disabilities and war veterans an opportunity to go fishing and experience nature first-hand.

Landowner Stewardship Award

Sarah Mailhot received the Landowner Stewardship Award for her commitment to restore and manage her 60-acre property. Sarah and her family developed a 10-year action plan for the property and have planted over 1,500 trees, created and maintained trails, managed their ponds and removed invasive species. In 2015, they began a large-scale project to remove dog-strangling vine from the property. This invasive species affects forest regeneration, prevents access for people and wildlife and can threaten the monarch butterfly population – a species at risk. Collectively, Sarah’s efforts are improving the ecological value of her property and the overall health of the Credit River Watershed.

Corporate Leadership Award

Four X Development (includes project partners DG Group, Beacon Environmental, RAND Engineering Corporation, NAK Design Group, Ward & Burke and ConDrain Group) received the Corporate Leadership Award for their committed environmental efforts to design and implement a subdivision plan adjacent to the Credit River. The team brought to life an unconventional design on 106-acres next to the Credit River in Brampton. The innovative design will help enhance the Natural Heritage System and protect the surrounding lands, supporting the health of the river downstream to Lake Ontario.

Global Investment Bank and Financial Services (Citi) received the Corporate Leadership Award for their environmental dedication over the past 10 years to the City of Mississauga’s One Million Trees Program. Over their decade of volunteer work, Citi has contributed over 1,700 volunteers to plant more than 1,200 trees and shrubs. In addition, they have set up a Global Community Day where employees are encouraged to make a difference by giving back to the community. Many of their volunteer opportunities support conservation initiatives.

Green Cities Award

Tara Day-Orzechowski (Glendale Public School), Adam Tompkins (Peel District School Board) and Michael Hoy (City of Brampton) received the Green Cities Award for their collaboration and leadership to bring to life the largest rain garden project on school property, located at Glendale Public School. The rain garden was an initiative of the Fletcher’s Creek Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP). It has reduced pressure on the city’s curb and gutter infrastructure and helps protect valuable wildlife habitat for the endangered Redside Dace. The rain garden also provides pollinator habitats and acts as an educational space for students and the community.

Watershed Excellence Award

Gavin Dandy received the Watershed Excellence Award for his ongoing commitment to environmental initiatives as a farmer, educator and co-founder of Everdale – a community teaching farm. Gavin led operations at Everdale for more than 22 successful years. He also supported the development of over 100 new farm businesses and helped bring social change and environmental awareness to the farming community.

As Executive Director of Everdale, he also spoke about organic agriculture in Ottawa to the Minister of Agriculture, sat on the Steering Committee for the City of Guelph’s Circular Food Economy proposal and participated in dozens of panels to advance environmental awareness. Gavin encourages his community to act in order to create a healthy and vibrant future.

Legacy Donor Award

TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley and the Humeniuk Foundation were recognized for their commitment to the environment through significant financial contributions to help secure key land for the Credit Valley Trail (CVT) project. TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley named Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF) as a charitable recipient of the Osprey Valley Open in 2018 and 2019. Through the tournaments they donated $25,000 to directly support CVCF’s Capstone campaign. In 2019, the Humeniuk Foundation donated an additional $250,000 toward the campaign. Together, the donations made up more than half of CVCF’s fundraising target. TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley and the Humeniuk Foundation are helping protect nature for the next generation.

Takla Foundation received the Legacy Donor Award for their commitment to help protect nature for future generations. They generously supported CVCF’s Capstone Campaign with a $30,000 donation for land securement and to build the CVT. Their support will help develop a key piece of the trail and leave a legacy that will connect people with nature and protect vital habitat in the watershed for generations.

2019 Award Nominees

Youth Achievement Award
Lukasz and Tomasz Padiasek
Aaron Bolzon

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Krystle Shaw
Bethell Hospice Landscape Committee
Jonathan Harris
Alan McBride
Elaine Smyth

Environmental Awareness Award
Jessica Skup
Port Credit Business Improvement Area
Prabhjot Kainth

Landowner Stewardship Award
Cathy Aylard
Ellen Thomson
Jean Compton and Michael Brady

Corporate Leadership Award
Behnam Doulatryari, Halton Region and Keith Hamilton, Town of Halton Hills
Region of Peel, Infrastructure Programming and Studies Division
TD Bank
Canon Canada Inc.

Green Cities Award
Taylor Davis
Region of Peel, Infrastructure Programming and Studies Division  

Watershed Excellence
Janet Kuzniar
Nicky Hall

About the program

Our ‘Friends of the Credit’ Conservation Awards program honours the important work being done in the community. The awards celebrate our partners and neighbours that share our vision of a thriving environment that protects, connects and sustains us. And they’re as inspired by nature as we are!

For more than 30 years, our Conservation Awards program has recognized environmental champions that share our deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping us healthy and they work hard to protect it.

If you know someone who deserves recognition, nominate them today!

What are the awards categories?

We have eight awards that represent the hard work and accomplishments of all our partners and watershed friends. Each year, one nominee will receive an award in each of the following categories:

Youth Achievement – recognizes individuals and groups under 29 years of age, striving to be future environmental champions.

Outstanding Volunteer – recognizes individuals and community groups who generously give personal time to protect, connect and sustain the environment.

Environmental Awareness – recognizes those who connect communities with nature through education and outreach to promote environmental awareness, appreciation and action.

Landowner Stewardship – recognizes landowners implementing restoration projects that increase natural cover and improve aquatic, terrestrial and wetland habitat on private lands.

Corporate Leadership – recognizes corporations, businesses and public entities that take action and adopt new and creative approaches to plan for an environmentally sustainable future.

Green Cities – recognizes those who implement leading edge green infrastructure in new development and existing urban areas.

Legacy Donor – recognizes those who donate land or funds for purchasing land to ensure its long-term protection. Excludes government agencies.

Watershed Excellence – recognizes those with a sustained record of achievement and commitment. Their ongoing leadership and dedication will leave a legacy of inspiration. This most prestigious award will only be given in extraordinary circumstances and may not be given every year. 


How do you nominate someone?

Nominations are accepted online and can be submitted following three easy steps:

  1. Review eligibility and award descriptions
  2. Review the nomination process 
  3. Complete the nomination form and don’t forget to have your supporting material ready (e.g. photographs, newspaper clippings or reports, etc.).



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