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Friday January 22nd, 2016

Posted at 8:28pm

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Conservation Award winners include (from left) Ed Sleiman, Mario Sonego, General Amherst Ecoteam including Anna Simone, Emily Sinasac and teacher Eric Campbell, Darrel Lauzon of Devonshire Mall, Carlo Pena, Neal Huber, Lisa Jeffery, Mayor John Paterson, Bill Tate, Joel Foster and Barb Macdonnell representing the Rt. Honorable Herb Gray Parkway project, Tom Henderson and Ian Naisbitt of the Little River Enhancement Group, Lac Ste. Clair Voyageurs Jerry Smith and Fritz Langpeter, and Dr. Tony Braithwaite.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority recognized organizations and individuals that have made significant contributions to the region’s sustainability with the 2015 Conservation Awards that were handed out Thursday evening.

“It is inspiring to learn more about the many in the Windsor-Essex region who work vigilantly at creating a healthier environment,” said ERCA Chair Ed Sleiman.

Award winners included Conservation Farmers Don and Neal Huber of Harrow for their dedication to environmentally sustainable farm practices. The Lac Ste. Claire Voyageurs received the John R. Park Homestead Award for outstanding contributions to the preservation and interpretation of human and natural history in the Essex Region. Carlos Pena, President of the Leamington District Secondary School (LDSS) Eco-Team, received the Youth Conservation Award.

Conservation Awards for Education were presented to teacher Lisa Jeffery who has been a longstanding inspiration to the very active and engaged students at LDSS and a community advocate, and to the General Amherst Eco-Team for their work in engaging the student population. Dr. Tony Braithwaite, a veterinarian who has volunteered significantly to protect endangered snake species in our region, and the Little River Enhancement Group, which this year celebrates 25 years of protecting and restoring the Little River watershed, were recognized for their volunteer contributions.

Mario Sonego received the Conservation Award for Environmental Achievement. Recently retired from the City of Windsor following a career that spanned three decades, he consistently went above and beyond that which was required to ensure that the many legacy projects he led as the Chief Building Official and City of Windsor Engineer were undertaken with the highest regard for environmental sustainability.

Devonshire Mall was also recognized for Environmental Achievement for implementing a culture of conservation throughout the shopping complex, and undertaking education and outreach to inform and engage over 7 million visitors per years of their environmental efforts.

The Robert Pulleyblank Award for Municipal Environmental Achievement was presented to the Municipality of Leamington, which has created trails, protected waterfront land, undertaken tree planting, partnered to create a rain garden and is committed to helping improve Lake Erie. A special Conservation Award was presented to the Rt. Honorable Herb Gray Parkway project, which is precedent setting in its project scope, complex issues that required consideration, and the creative solutions that were implemented to ensure that this massive project benefited the overall environmental sustainability of our region.

Bill Tate, ERCA’s Superintendent of Field Operations, received the Dennis Chase Staff Award for dedication and commitment, kindness to colleagues and pride in a job well done.

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