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Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group: A Glimpse into the Exciting World of Watersheds on Prince Edward Island

Dr. David McKenna Environmental Award

TITLE OF AWARD:

DavidDr. David McKenna, local resident, prominent businessman, and dedicated community volunteer, was keen to start a watershed group in Stratford along with (former) Mayor Kevin Jenkins in 2008. David took the reins and organized public meetings and a working committee to get the watershed group up and running; the group was subsequently incorporated in 2009.  David became the first President of SAWIG, and remained on board as part-president until his sudden passing in March, 2014.

David was a staunch support of the watershed group and environmental groups across the island, and his dedication, enthusiasm and passion for the environment and his community helped shape the watershed group into the organization it is today; one can only glimpse at the strong partnership between SAWIG and the town of Stratford to see the success of his endeavors.

We were delighted to rename the environmental award to the Dr. David McKenna Environmental Award to honour the memory and dedication of our friend and colleague.

IMPORTANCE OF VOLUNTEERS:

The very backbone of SAWIG is its volunteers; without them there would BE no watershed group!

We thought it was high time to recognize those who have significantly contributed to the group throughout the year. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as (not limited to):

– planting of a significant number of Acadian Forest species within SAWIG’s watershed boundaries;

– helping the group with environmental education;

– participating in a number of watershed events and programs;

– protecting and managing buffer zones on their property;

– significant water or energy conservation in homes or businesses; or

– diligence and dedication to the enhancement, restoration and/or protection of the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group’s region

SAWIG is proud to recognize those individuals, groups or businesses who help us with our ongoing task of protection, enhancement and education! the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Environmental Award is given out at the Annual General Meeting of each year.

AWARD RECIPIENTS:

2011 Environmental Award Recipient – Bus Gay

We are proud to congratulate Bus Gay on being SAWIG’s first citizen to receive the Environmental Award. Bus spent many tireless hours assisting the group in planting trees in one of the most inhospitable soils in Stratford: Keppoch Park!

2012 Environmental Award Recipient – Stratford Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps

This year the Stratford Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps is the recipient for our second annual award, thanks to their amazing participation in environmental activities throughout the watershed.

“Volunteering with SAWIG is an excellent opportunity to have our cadets learn about their local environment” says civilian cadet leader Shawn Morrison.

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2013 Environmental Award Recipient – Billy Ramsay

Billy Ramsay, water technician with the Town of Stratford, has put countless hours into teaching island students about water conservation. This dedication led to the establishment of “Waters Cool!”, co-founded by watershed coordinator, Kelley Farrar

in 2012. As a water technician, Billy sees firsthand the impact of excess water usage, and continues to education Grade 5 students how to decrease their water use. Congrats!

Kelley Arnold and Billy Ramsay

2014 Environmental Award Recipient – Luke Hannah

Luke volunteered many hours to develop, from scratch, the SAWIG invasive species website. This interactive tool allows residents and the general public to pin where they see alleged invasive species, which sends the information to the watershed group for documentation and subsequent action. This website was acknowledged by the PEI Invasive Species Council, and is a wonderful tool for the group to possess. Congratulations Luke!

2015 Environmental Award Recipient – Janeen McGuigan

Janeen worked many late evenings and weekends to conduct research in Pondside and sift through hundreds of pages of data and student reports to deliver the invaluable Pondside System Report in November, 2015. Thank you so much for the development of this document, which is serving as the foundation for our action plan in Pondside restoration.

2016 Environmental Award Recipient – Mary-Ellen MacMillan

Mary-Ellen is the first Director to ever receive an environmental award, due to her tremendous commitment to the watershed group and the hours she has devoted to developing the draft Tree Planting Policy for the town, work plan for the summer group, and revision of the Watershed Management Plan. And this is just a sliver of what she has done!  Congratulations to Mary-Ellen for her passion, and we are proud to have you on the board.

 Have a person, business or group who has made a great contribution to the Stratford and area environment? Think you know someone who has helped educate people on their water and local ecosystems etc.? If so, please contact us!

 

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