Island Lake with blades of green grass in the front on a nice sunny day

2018 Environmental Sustainability Awards presented by Town

Apr 24, 2018 | General

Several members of the Orangeville community were recipients of the Town’s ninth annual sustainability awards this week. The presentations were made at a meeting of Orangeville Council by Councillor Sylvia Bradley who chairs the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team (OSAT). The awards are presented by Town Council on an annual basis to recognize those who have made a positive environmental contribution to the community. The 2018 Environmental Sustainability Award recipients are:

Business – Soulyve Restaurant (Philip DeWar)

Soulyve is a leader in the community. Soulyve hosts and contributes to numerous social events, improving the community fabric in Orangeville. On top of this, their efforts to minimize waste demonstrate leadership among the restaurant community. They are among the few restaurants that use Dufferin County’s green bin program. Further, they have a no-straw default policy and serve condiments in ceramic dishes, rather than relying on single use packages. They also emphasize healthy meals and pure ingredients. The owners demonstrate  leadership among small-market restaurants and a deep sense of pride in the community. Commitment to these principles results in a lower waste footprint -- an important aspect of sustainability.

Individual – Kimberley Ellis
Kimberley has been a “champion” at creating an on-site school community garden at Princess Margaret Public School. She tilled the property, installed the raised beds with her kindergarten class, and has managed a small group of volunteers to maintain the garden. She oversees a watering schedule and ensures the garden is well kept. One of her goals was to have the students connect with the garden and create an understanding of how food is grown. There are garden plots for Kindergarten, Primary, Junior and Intermediate classes, a “Community Pick” plot that encourages anyone from the community to pick and eat from, as well as a plot for the school’s snack program. All plots have produced plenty of food and been well maintained. The students enjoy working in the garden and are proud to share their lessons in the garden as well as eat the veggies for snacks.

Youth – Tracy Gray’s Grade 7/8 Class at Spencer Avenue Elementary School
Ms Gray's class participated in the Innovation Challenge this year and found that many students were concerned about the amount of litter in the community. In September, after persuading other Grade 7 and 8 students at the school to join them, they hit the trails at Island Lake Conservation Area and in the neighbourhoods in the west end of town to pick up litter. They logged it digitally on Litterati -- an app that records both a photo and co-ordinates the location on a map. The students logged about 3000 pieces of litter, studied the data, and found that food and drink containers were contributing to significant litter. They reached out to Dairy Queen and Tim Hortons and met with the owners and staff. Increasing garbage receptacles and building better awareness through social media have been effective in reducing the litter in our town.

Group – Climate Change Action Dufferin-Caledon (Nancy Urekar, Judy Yokom, Pete Herlihy & Brandy Robinson)

Local community group “Climate Change Action Dufferin-Caledon” works on raising awareness and motivating citizens to engage in their community. Formed in early 2016, they made a deputation to Orangeville Council in May 2017 to designate the town as a David Suzuki Blue Dot Community, which supports the right to a healthy environment with clean air and water, safe food, a stable climate, and a say in decisions that affect our health and well-being. The Council vote was unanimous and Orangeville is now a Blue Dot Community. In 2017, the group began hosting an annual Eco Film Series. Once a month – from January to May – they show award-winning documentaries about environmental issues and their impact. The movies are free to attend, and film-goers have the opportunity to discuss, organize, and plan some action. Local businesses and organizations are invited to sponsor a movie and set up vendor tables to share information on environmental engagement by their business or group. The group’s screenings attract 50-70 visitors per movie. The group has also started working on an awareness and action project, with OSAT, to encourage local restaurants to go "straw free".

Environmental Award recipients

Several members of the Orangeville community were recipients of the Town’s ninth annual sustainability awards this week. The presentations were made at a meeting of Orangeville Council by Councillor Sylvia Bradley who chairs the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team (OSAT). The winner in the business category was Soulyve. (Philip DeWar). Local community group Climate Change Action Dufferin-Caledon won in the group category. The youth category was awarded to Tracy Gray’s Grade 7/8 class of Spencer Avenue Elementary School. Missing from the photo is the winner in the individual category, Kimberley Ellis.