As part of its 40th year of conservation, the Essex Region Conservation Authority recognized its first four of forty Conservation Champions that will be announced in 2013. “These are individuals who have had a significant impact in shaping the conservation efforts of the Essex Region,” explained Joe Bachetti, ERCA Chair. David Ainslie, a farmer, Pearl Bradd, a retired educator, Peter Thomas of the CAW and teenager Brad Renaud were honoured.
“David incorporated his sophisticated understanding of natural systems into his farming operation,” said Bachetti of the first award recipient. “He has been a strong advocate for conservation farming practices within the agricultural community, and his efforts have contributed to creating a future of sustainability for this region.” David is a founding director of the Canada South Land Trust, and he has also provided leadership to the Essex Soil & Crop Improvement Association and the Essex Conservation Club. In 2006, Mr. Ainslie was recognized with an ERCA Conservation Award for Environmental Achievement.
Pearl Bradd has been dedicated to continuing science education in our community for more than 40 years. She began volunteering with the Little River Enhancement Group in 1989. Under her direction and guidance, students researched water quality in Little River corridor, and in doing so earned recognition from National Geographic. For more than 15 years, Pearl worked to help realize the dream of bringing a science centre to Windsor, and was ultimately successful. She was also instrumental in developing an education centre on Fighting Island for young people to do field work addressing ecological and environmental issues.
Peter Thomas was credited with initiating many of the environmental initiatives that are ongoing in our community. He was instrumental in developing the CAW Joint Workplace Environment committees, championed the Youth Environment Network, and brought together the partners to establish the Essex Region Children’s Water Festival. Pete was also key in the Computers for Kids program, which not only diverts electronic waste from the landfill, but also refurbishes computers for children in need. He lends his expertise, passion and assistance to many environmental committees.
In recognizing sixteen-year old Brad Renaud, Bachetti noted: “Conservation Champions are also those young people who have already contributed to local conservation efforts, and those who we believe will be the future faces of conservation.” Brad has achieved his Chief Scout Status and has now become a Venture, where he mentors other young people. He has been involved in the Friends of Cedar, Mill and Wigle through his Scouts work, and has participated in tree planting, garlic mustard pulls and bat box construction. He was one of the first young people to become a member of our Youth Engagement Team, and continues to demonstrate leadership with this group.
Nominations for Conservation Champions will be accepted throughout the year online here.
Photos by ERCA.