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Lake Simcoe watershed 'heroes' honoured in Newmarket

Annual conservation awards handed out Nov. 3
Nov. 8, 2016
By Chris Simon

More than 30 Lake Simcoe area residents and organizations were honoured for contributions to the watershed in Newmarket Nov. 3.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority hosted its annual conservation awards at Madsen’s Garden and Greenhouses Thursday evening.

“Each and every one of our recipients has made a difference to the health of our watershed,” said Aurora Mayor and LSRCA board chair Geoff Dawe. “We are honoured to recognize their successes.”

Each award recipient is committed to positive environmental actions that contribute to a more sustainable and healthier watershed. In short, they help because they care about the local environment, he said.

In total, 33 awards were handed out. Annabel Slaight, co-founder of the advocacy group Ladies of the Lake, received the evening’s top prize, the George R. Richardson Conservation Award. Now retired, Slaight was co-founder and president of OWL Magazine, Books and Television, which have collectively reached and influenced more than 40 million Canadian families since 1976. She also champions the protection of the lake in numerous ways and was founding vice chair of Alliance for a Better Georgina, a ministerial appointee to the Lake Simcoe Coordinating Committee, and founding chair of the Ontario Water Centre, an educational charity dedicated to making Simcoe an integrated hub for learning, research and innovation.

York Region winners included Newmarket’s Dry Cleaners Plus and Georgina’s Gerry Brouwer (Water Conservation), and Georgina’s Hans Pape, Ashton Hill, Jorja Keay, Rhea Marok and Taya Torrance and Udora and Leaskdale Lions Club, King Township’s Andrew and Pamela Brown and Kyle Horlings, Aurora’s Holy Spirit Catholic Elementary School green team and the Aurora Montessori School, and East Gwillimbury’s Michael Freeman and Kathleen Williams (Soil Conservation).

The Aurora Environmental Advisory Committee and Georgina’s Geoffrey Shore earned the Education award and Newmarket’s Simba Musewe collected the Ernie Crossland Young Conservationist prize.

Georgina’s Maskinonge River Recovery Project Committee received the Volunteer Recognition award.

For a complete list of 2016 winners, visit