Gala recognizes environmental contributions
By Angelica Ingram
Quietly, behind the scenes, there are many organizations and groups doing great work on environmental causes just because they care.
On Sept. 27, the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust recognized a select few of those groups and one individual at their eighth annual Wild About Nature Gala at the Stanhope Firefighters Hall.
A fundraiser for the not-for-profit organization committed to preserving the area’s natural heritage, the gala included a silent and toonie auction, where original pieces of local art were up for grabs, along with gift certificates, experiences and much more.
Close to 100 people filled the hall to dine on a delicious buffet and recognize the groups and individuals bestowed with the honour of Enviro-Hero.
This year marks the 10th anniversary for the organization, said interim chairwoman Dianne Mathes, pointing out founding board member Sheila Ziman was in attendance.
“I still feel like I’m trying to fill her shoes and at best I do OK,” joked Mathes. “We owe huge thanks to that original board of directors and to all the volunteers ... for all the work that they have done towards the goal of protecting the land in Haliburton that we love.”
The MC for the evening was Brigitte Gall, who presented the Enviro-Hero awards for the past year. Recipients were recognized with a plaque at the gala as well as an acre in the Dahl Forest in their name.
This year the Enviro-Hero award for Minden Hills was presented to the Coalition for Equitable Water Flow, for their work on integrated water management and partnership with the Trent-Severn Waterway. Accepting on behalf of CEWF was past-chairman Chris Riddle and chairman Ted Spence.
Enviro-Hero for Dysart was given to the Fleming College sustainable building design program, the first of its kind in Canada. Accepting the award on behalf of the program were Ted Brandon, Pat Marcotte and David Belsey.
The award for Algonquin Highlands was given to the Hawk Halls Lake Property Owners Association, for its work done on the Elvin Johnson Park shoreline restoration project. Accepting on behalf of the association was president Peter Dadzis.
“The one person that should have been here tonight to have gotten this award on behalf of the association was Terry Moore and I promised him today that if I had a chance today to speak, which I’m doing, that I would acknowledge him as being an absolute asset not just to our lake association, not just to Algonquin Highlands township, not just to Haliburton County, but to all the environmental issues and progress,” said Dadzis. “So Terry, you’re in our hearts.”
The final Enviro-Hero of the night was Highlands East’s Mary Barker, who was unable to attend the gala. In her place Peter Fredericks accepted the award given to Barker for her work on the Highlands East GeoTour, which is the No. 1 tour in Canada.
“It’s a wonderful thing to live in a community like this where so many people do so much,” said Gall.