VIDEO: Clean North announces winners of inaugural environmental awards – SooToday


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Last evening to mark Earth Day, Clean North announced the recipients of its inaugural environmental awards.

In a news release issued last night, Clean North stated that the intention of these awards is to “recognize and encourage Sault/Algoma’s environmental leaders, both individuals and businesses/organizations.”

Awards were presented in three of the four available categories – Elementary Student Awards, Citizen Awards, and Business/Organization Awards.

There were no nominees in the Secondary Student Award category, the release says.

Full text of the Clean North news release follows:

On this Earth Day 2021, we are releasing the names of the winners of our 2021 environmental awards. This year is the first for this awards program, through which we hope to recognize and encourage Sault/Algoma’s environmental leaders, both individuals and businesses/organizations. 

Elementary Student Award winners:  
    •    Eloise Murdoch is an active environmental steward and part of the Green Team at F.H. Clergue Public School. She leads her classmates by example and takes the compost out to the bins every Friday. She recycles plastic and cardboard and uses a composter at  home and at her cottage to create her own garden soil supplement. Eloise understands the importance of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and the importance of consuming  less to help protect the environment. 
    •    Mary Jane Palumbo is a student at Holy Trinity Catholic Virtual Academy. She is  environmentally conscious and understands the value of composting. She helps out with  planting and harvesting the family garden and manages her own garden. She also invites her friends to help her mother with the harvest and to gather seeds for her mother’s business and for planting in her own garden.

Citizen Award winners:
    •    Tom Noland, a retired Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry scientist, is a lifelong  gardener who is involved in Northern Wildflowers, a group devoted to protecting and  restoring native wildflowers and to making their seeds available for others locally. He also helps feed those in need in our community through growing fresh food at the community garden at Emmanuel United Church on Boundary Road and volunteering at  the Food Bank Farm. An experienced gardener, Tom has provided valuable gardening  guidance and mentorship for many others.
    •    Lindsey Palumbo heads up The Superior Gardener and promotes composting and a  pesticide-free garden, providing tutorial videos on how to reduce and reuse household  items. She is a backyard gardener and chicken lover who saves all her seeds as part of her business and ships seeds Canada wide. She is also the mother of Mary Jane, the  winner of the elementary school category. Be sure to check out The Superior  Gardener’s Facebook page for more on their initiatives.
    •    Aaron Jones, a junior ecologist and researcher with the Firelight Group, has been  involved in remediating environmentally damaged areas in Garden River while planting native wildflowers as well as plants with medicinal and food value. He makes wildflower seed packages available to community members through small-scale volunteer-based  projects and is looking to promote planting fruit trees in Garden River. His work greatly  benefits Garden River and our environment.
    •    Valerie Walker and David Euler of the Sault Naturalists have both been dedicated to  environmental protection for over 15 years as part of the Sault Naturalists Club and share the fourth award in this category. Dave, a former forestry professor, helped start and organize the removal of invasive garlic mustard in our community. Val, a former natural environmental professor at Sault College, also helped with this initiative and is working to re-naturalize our local floodways with native plants to support pollination. Be sure to check out the Sault Naturalists online and consider joining Dave, Val, and their fellow volunteers.

Business/Organization Award winners:
    •    Lemieux Composting has established a compost drop-off area for our community for the past 30+ years and assisted Clean North with Christmas tree chipping and mulch  distribution, as well as selling bat houses and rain barrels. They’ve also supported the  City of Sault Ste. Marie with mulching curbside-collected organic waste. They are  supportive of many local environmental initiatives such as Seedy Saturday, Sault Ste.  Marie Horticultural Society projects, and the City Beautification awards.
    •    Rotaryfest is a well-known and attended Sault event. Over the past several years, the organizers have greatly reduced their waste and moved towards using more compostable materials to reduce the event’s impact on our landfill. They have also resourced a refuse-sorting tent, recruiting and coordinating more than 50 volunteers who sort and separate compostable and recyclables. This effort has reduced the amount  of event-related trash going into the landfill by more than 30 percent.
    •    Adults in Motion – Garden River Education Unit has operated a community garden,  greenhouse, and community gardening education and training program for several  years, teaching community members of all ages about gardening and horticulture. The  program also provides opportunities for students to learn more about their culture,  heritage and language as stewards of the Earth.

There were no nominees in the Secondary Student Award category.

Congratulations to all the Green Award recipients for being local environmental leaders and champions.

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